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How to Take Better Pictures of Your Kids
I hear it all the time, "I want to take better pictures of my kids." Most of the time this comes with questions on how to use a camera, but it doesn't matter if you have a dslr, a point and shoot camera, or even your phone camera, the best camera to use is the one you have with you when the moment happens.
I want to start by saying that this is not meant to replace having a professional photographer take your portraits for special occasions, such as special milestones in your child's life (first year milestones, communion, etc), holiday photos or a family portrait. This is meant more for your day to day life, taking snapshots of those little moments you want to remember like playing outside at the park, enjoying a meal together, or on vacation.
So how can you take better pictures? Let's cover some basics.
Let's start with Getting Down to their Level. It's something so simple, but people often don't remember to do it. Why does this make a difference? It gives the person viewing the image a better connection to the subject, and puts you one on one with what the child is doing at that moment.
Next let's talk about the background. When you decided to pull out the camera was it to capture your child's expression or to include them in a whole scene? For example, if you are standing on the beach, do you want to include the beach in the background, or just focus on your child playing in the sand?
Once you decide on your background, look around the frame, do you see anything distracting? Are there people? Something bright colored that you don't want included? If you do see distracting elements the easiest way to get rid of them is usually to take a step to the left or right to not include them.
Crazy limb crops. Let's face it, kids move, A LOT! Sometimes just moving your camera back a little farther will get them all in, though don't expect them to stay put, there is a good chance they are going to follow you as you move back to try to get them all in (like this little girl below who was scooting across the floor towards me as I backed up).
"The eyes are the windows to the soul" and usually the first thing you look at when viewing a portrait. For this reason it's important to choose the eyes as where your camera is focusing, while also trying to get some light in the eyes so they are not lost in shadow. A little catchlight makes a huge difference in a simple shot like the one below.
Now if you have followed all the tips above, you should be left with a great composition and a better picture of your children.
If our tips have helped you out, please let us know in the comments below. :)
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