Have you ever wished that you could take better photos of your kids? If you have been following me for a while, then you may already know that my journey with photography began when my first child was born. The arrival of my little guy is what inspired me to pick up my camera and learn to use it!
I quickly realized just how fleeting moments can be once my son was born. He would wake up some mornings having outgrown his jammies from just the night before! I wanted to do my best to capture his childhood in a way where I could feel like I was “going back in time” when I viewed these photos later. The photos that I have taken with this goal in mind, have become some of my most cherished ones.
Looking back at our family yearbooks (yes, yearbooks… maybe I’ll do a post on that later too) makes me so grateful that I started to think of this early on. When I look back on the photos I have captured of his first years, and now my daughter’s first year as well, I am reminded of little things that seem to disappear right before your eyes, like the way baby’s knuckles are actually just little dimples. These photos also remind me of things long forgotten, like the way Alexander lined up toys on the edge of the bathtub and made them all dive in one at a time.
I have been asked by several people for tips on how they can better document their lives with their children, and I figured that maybe I could help them by putting a post together with some tips!
So without further ado, here they are: my 5 easy tips for taking better photos of your kids!
1. Play with perspective, and remember to get on their level!
When taking photos of my kids, one of my favorite things to do is to get down on their level. Changing the angle you are at can change the entire feel of the photo. When you get down on your kid’s level, it gives you a view of what the world might look like through their eyes.
Another favorite of mine is to take overhead photos of them, this is one way to show just how small they really are. It is also how you view your kids daily, with them looking up at you. This just goes back to my point earlier about bringing you back to this moment in your life. Them looking up at you will not always be the norm, one day your child may tower over you!
2. Find the light!
This is one of the most important points to remember. Photos taken in well-lit rooms always turn out better. I like to have my kids play in areas that are well-lit when I know I will be taking photos of them. Obviously that can’t always be the case, but if you are able to, just try to make sure that you have a decent amount of light and your photos will thank you. Another thing to look out for is interesting patterns of light in your home, like shadows that may be cast from your blinds. Start paying attention to where the light is in your home, I promise you won’t regret it!
3. Remember to capture the details!
For this tip, I think it is important to remember that the reason we are trying to take better photos of our kids is because we are telling the story of their childhood. When we read, tell, or listen to stories there are always DETAILS. These are the puzzle pieces that add up to the whole picture.
When my son is playing with legos, I love to zoom in on his little hands putting them together. When my daughter was learning to walk, of course I got the shots of her pushing the walker along; but I also zoomed in on her chubby little knees and toes, and her wide stance. To have a good photo, you don’t necessarily need to have your child looking right at you saying “cheese”. You want to tell a story!
4. Capture the everyday, no moment is insignificant!
Some of the most extraordinary photos of my kids were taken while they were doing the most ordinary things. There is so much beauty in the everyday, why wait for a special occasion to pull out your camera? Not to sound like a broken record, but this is storytelling!
Here is a challenge for you: Try to do a “day in the life” photo day with your kids. Take photos of all your little moments, I promise they add up to a beautiful story.
5. Give them something to do.
It is always fun to capture photos of your kids doing something fun. You can see the wonder in their eyes and the joy on their faces. Give your child an activity to do and sit back and watch them. It really is that simple! Don’t make it about getting a good photo, let them have fun and the moment for your shot will come naturally. Think of the simple things that kids love, bubbles, coloring, picking flowers, etc. All of these actions cause a reaction, and that is what we are trying to capture!
Whew! If you have made it this far, I hope you have found these tips to be helpful! I’m pretty sure that every parent loves great photos of their kids, and if even one of my tips is of any help to someone then that makes me so very happy!
If you ever want to have me document your family in the form of a family photo session, please contact me HERE! I would LOVE to chat with you!