Wouldn’t it be nice to take really beautiful pictures that you are proud to frame (because of the people in them and the quality)?
If you loved, How to Take Good Photos of Kids, you’re going to love this! That’s specifically written for moms and dads wanting to learn the basics of taking quality pictures of the kids. Today, we will continue on with the photography tips as promised!
What do you use to capture most of your pictures; cell phone or actual camera? What is your goal of snapping each photo; is it meant to message a friend or share on social media? Or do you actually plan to print those?
An average DSLR camera takes at least 3x better quality pictures than that of an average cell phone camera. So with that said: know your goal of each photo. You certainly want to photograph in higher quality if you want to print and even frame it!
So, here are some simple pointers for you to try your own mini sessions or candid shots at home:
Before you are ready to shoot, you need to have all of your equipment ready:
- DSLR camera (set on “Fine” if printing, can also try RAW settings)
- Fully charged batteries (backups are always good)
- Preferred lens (I like a 55-200 mm lens for portraits)
- High speed memory card (with plenty of space available)
I like to use a 64 GB high speed card. This just means that your camera will process the image faster, which is important when shooting in high quality or RAW.
Then I keep my photos on it until I have backed them in other places or printed them. Then that should be it for equipment. It’s best to shoot outside if you have minimal equipment. Then you don’t have to worry about (indoor photography) adjusting shadows, highlights, and coloring.
Then choose your background. Something less busy or neutral will look nice. A clean, unfocused background. Your subject needs to be in focus and stand out.
10 years ago I was a little league photographer. Our go-to was having the kids stand about 10 feet out from a (pine) tree line. The kids would stand in the shade of the tree also, to soften the sunlight.
The angle will do a couple things; change your perception of how large or small the subject is, help you to see into the face and eyes of your subject, change the background, and also gives your image more focus. This is because your subject is going in the same direction toward you, instead of running across your screen.
If you change the angle of a photo, you change the whole perception.
Take multiple shots:
Even professional photographers have to take extra shots. If I want to print pictures, I’m careful to take at least 1 or 2 extras. But if I’m dealing with running kids, or wiggly kids, I take at least 20. I hardly ever ask them to sit still.
It takes patience to photograph kids. Mini sessions may require a little bit of instruction. Like “I want you to sit here and hold this prop.”
It is your job to have that background (natural outdoors or a cute set-up you made) ready to go before putting your subject in place. Also know the perception you’re going for ahead of time.
Ideally, you want to eliminate kids becoming too impatient. So, after everything is set, you should be able to place your subject and snap a few. Switch them to standing up or holding different props. You know that attention span of theirs won’t last long.
Plan for 20-30 minutes of camera time depending on their age. If your kids are hungry or tired, you may just want to stop.
The best part about candid shots are it should be free and easy. They play while you look for new angles. There is no instruction. These are the most sentimental to me anyways.
- Picture Purpose
- Prep equipment
- Clean Background
- Extra shots
The real reason for the picture is key. Memory preservation. Don’t try to perfect the way the kids are standing and things. Just make sure you get shots of them having fun, smiling, and just being themselves. Trust me, you won’t care in future years if you have the perfect image as much as you will care about seeing their playful young selves.
Now you just need to combine this with the 5 photography tips that I gave you last! If you haven’t read that article yet, here it is. How to Take Good Pictures (of Kids)
Now, do you have enough frames for all of the amazing photos you’ll be taking of your family?