So you’ve got these beautiful little humans who you love so much that it actually hurts but, you’re forever getting pictures of the top of their head, the super awkward forced smile or just a giant blurr where the child ought to be.
Well I’m here to help. My top 3 tips for taking better photos of your children, straight from a mum and professional photographer!
To avoid a camera roll filled with the top of their head or the bobble head effect (big head and tiny body) you need to get low.
Get down to their level, you want to be looking directly at them, not down at them with your camera. Besides, a squat or 2 never hurt nobody!
Kids will be kids, how often will they actually stay still for a photo? Like, never!
So if you’re using a “real” camera, consider shooting on shutter priority with continuous shooting turned on and choose a fast shutter (250+) to help freeze the image even if they are moving. By shooting in continuous mode you’re able to take multiple pictures straight after each other with a single long shutter press.
If you’re using a phone – you’ve got another couple of options – Burst most or Live mode!
Burst mode is available on most modern smartphones these days but if your model doesn’t have it you can download a third party app, if you hold the shutter button it will continuously take pictures and then you can choose the best one later.
Live mode on iPhone is a god send! The camera starts recording as soon as you open the app, so you’ll be able to choose your favourite frame from just before you’ve pointed the camera at the child until just after you’ve taken the image.
This one is super important and completely non-technical…
MAKE IT FUN!
Go crazy, make funny faces, tell them a joke, use props. If they are genuinely having fun when you take the photo, you’re going to get that genuine emotion to translate to the image without the forced (slightly weird) smile or uncomfortable look in their eyes.
I love a good prop, so I’ll take a bell when I’m photographing babies and jiggle it next to my lens, or bubbles when I’m photographing toddlers. Balloons are also a fun prop especially if it’s a celebration you’re trying to capture.
This is why cake smash photos are so popular, the babies are so excited by this big yummy cake in front of them that the pure joy translates really well to the final image.
If all else fails – Hire a professional, if it’s a super important moment that you really want to capture and you’re just not sure you can do it yourself it’s best to hire a professional. You wouldn’t try and change the alternator on your car if you don’t know how just because other people can, you’d take it to a professional!