I’ve always loved photography, but when my kids were born it became extremely important to me to be able to capture every moment. I would enviously scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and drool over beautifully taken photos of children and families. I wanted to have photos like those of my kids and my family, but knew I couldn’t afford a professional photographer for my everyday life. So I picked up my camera and decided to learn. Photography, to me, used to be a well taken selfie and quirky signs in store windows. Since then it has evolved into freezing moments in time that truly represent that moment.
11 Tips For Taking Captivating Photos Of Your Kids
1. Learn your DSLR
One of the first things I did after getting my DSLR is learn how to shoot in manual mode. I wanted to be able to take those photos with the pretty blurred background that brought focus to the subject. Rebecca Rice offers a wonderful course geared towards moms. This course does a really good job of teaching you how to photograph in manual mode, plus you get access to the Facebook community which is a wonderful support system.
2. Shoot often
Like with any skill, the more you practice the better you will get. Shoot as often as you can, daily if possible. This will teach you how to use your camera better than any course or book every will. Practice with different styles and lighting to find what works best for you. If you are looking for inspiration, try embarking on a 365 photo challenge, taking just one photo a day.
3. Get on their level
When taking photos of my daughters, I try to get down to their level as much as possible. This has often left me with burning thighs and muddy knees, but the pictures are worth it. I get to capture a moment them in their view of the world and they become more engaged because they are able to interact with me more.
4. Encourage play
My favorite photos are the ones when my daughter aren’t even aware a camera is present. I love those candid moments of play, when their personality truly shines and you can see their mind at work. Kids will get bored if they are told to sit still and smile. Encourage them to run free, jump in puddles, and play in the dirt.
5. Use a fast shutter speed
There is rarely a moment when my girls are sitting still, as with most kids. To ensure you are able to capture those beloved moments of play without blur keep your shutter speed fast.
6. Give them something to focus on
Handing your child a toy or pointing out something in the distance is a good way to occupy their hands and mind and give you a moment of stillness to capture a photo.
7. Use their name
One of my favorite ways to get my daughters’ faces in the picture is to call their name when they least expect it. As they are playing or exploring I will line up my shot. When I have the picture lined up I will quickly call out, “Finley.” This causes her to turn her head and look at my, but still give me the candidness I am looking for.
8. Get Creative
Kids are so full of wonder and imagination. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your photos and bring their imagination to life. This doesn’t always require editing software and intense Photoshop skills. Well placed props and a game of dress up works just as well.
9. Be silly
Kids love to laugh and play and their attention switches quickly. If you would like to keep them engaged, making them laugh is the best way to do so. Make silly faces or tell jokes. You can make it into a game by playing peek-a-boo with younger kids and babies or having them copy different facial expressions.
10. Embrace the mess
Kids are messy and fearless and wild. Shirts will be stained and faces will be dirty. Don’t let the worry of a messy face keep from taking the photo. Embrace the mess, it will tell a story to be cherish in the future.
11. Keep your cool
We’ve all been there, we have the perfect shot in mind and your kid is just not cooperating. You start to get frustrated and eventually blow up or give up. Your kids can sense your irritation. If you feel yourself start to get annoyed, take a break. Let your kid play for a bit and try again when you both are in a better state of mind. Try to remember that as you are capturing moments to experience the moment as well. Don’t turn the entire experience sour over the failed attempt at a photograph.
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