Evansville, IN Family Photographer - How to Take Better Photos of Your Kids
So you're on vacation, in your backyard, or hanging out at the park, and you you want to take some cute pictures of your kid(s)! You have a phone with a camera, or maybe even a nice digital camera...regardless of WHAT you have, you most likely have a way to take photos. Unfortunately you probably can't just hire a professional photographer to follow you around every single day taking photos of your kids, (wouldn't that be nice?), so sometimes pulling out your phone or camera to capture those moments is the best way to remember the times that may not seem super important now, but will mean everything to you later on down the road. Whatever the situation, you don't want to let those moments go by without remembering them somehow. But how do you do it!? You might be thinking your kids are too crazy, or they will never sit still and look at the camera, or they give you attitude for "always wanting to take their picture". I've come up with a few tips to help you...
Capture them in their environment
Take photos when your kids are doing what they love! If they're playing with toys, running around the backyard, or having a tickle fight with dad, use that time to capture those moments. You don't always have to set the perfect scene to get good photos. Work with what you have and capture some beautiful heartfelt photos of your kids in their own environment.
Let them play
This plays off of what I mentioned above. Taking photos of your kids playing usually will give you the best, most authentic smiles you can get. And don't forget to play with them! Set your phone or camera down every now and then to join in the fun so they don't feel like you're trying to make a fun game into something too serious. Some fun game ideas that make great photos are tickle fights, peekaboo, crazy faces, weird noises, singing, snuggling, etc. Find what your kiddo likes, and use that to your advantage.
Get them laughing
Along with playing games, try to get them laughing! Talk to them while taking their picture. Ask them questions that will spark a conversation, or tell them a silly story. Ask them to tell YOU a story. While they're talking and playing, take their photo! Get creative in the questions you ask so they stay interested. Kids usually tell the best stories and they usually love to talk. Plus it will be great bonding time for you both and they'll feel special that you want to listen to what they have to say!
Timing is everything when trying to take good photos. If your kid isn't feeling well, is tired, or just grumpy in general, that is NOT the time to try and take a really cute photo. Just accept it and try again when they're in a better mood.
If you're trying so hard to get the perfect picture and it's overwhelming you, just stop! Try again later and be flexible. We all know kids can have crazy mood swings, so just go with it. If your kids see you stressing out, they will feed off of that and want nothing to do with getting their picture taken.
Get on their level
Instead of taking photos from up above or far away, try to get closer and down to their level. This creates a unique perspective and will help you get good angles that you can't always achieve by standing over. When you get closer and on their level it can help create an intimate and special look you can't get any other way.
Don't say cheese
This one is HUGE. When you ask you kid(s) to "say cheese" to the camera, you will undoubtedly almost always get the awkward forced smile. If you're going for that look, then keep on with the cheese phrase. But if you're going for natural smiles, leave the cheese behind. Instead of asking them to say cheese, try other things like making funny faces at them or playing peekaboo from behind your camera. Sing their favorite song or say a funny phrase that will make them laugh. When I'm photographing kids I am not afraid to get weird just to bring out the natural smiles, so get creative and don't be afraid to get silly! Kids love silly!
Take more photos than necessary
When you have a good moment going, keep clicking the shutter! The more photos you take, the better chance you have of capturing the best looks and moments. You can always delete the bad ones later on!
Let them be themselves
Above all else, just let your kids be themselves. After all, you're taking these photos to remember them in that specific moment. Don't worry about perfecting everything or making them sit still for too long. A happy kid is not one who is being forced into something that is boring...so make it fun, get them laughing, and don't forget to have fun with it yourself ;)
Check back soon for part 2! I'll be talking more on the technical side of things to achieve great looking everyday pictures of your littles.