Tips for photographing your children

I am often asked for tips on how to take better photographs of children so here are my top five – hope they come in useful!

1. Get closer.

It will make such a difference to your photographs if you get a little closer – some of my favourite images of my children are close-ups where they aren’t even looking at the camera but show eyelashes, big cheeks- especially when they were toddlers and still had their “baby face”.

2. Check the background.

Always take a look at your background before you press the shutter and check to see if a bush isn’t coming out from behind a head or something distracting isn’t in the background.  Move objects away if they are or zoom in tight.  Pick a background you love and take your child to play in it and photograph them having fun.

3. Let children be children.

Photograph your children with their favourite toys.  Get them to do some silly things such as dress up, twirl around, jump off rocks, play with water.  Let them play, be natural and capture the personality, not the perfect put-on smile for grandma.  Wait for things to happen and at one point, they will go into their own world and that is when you can get this type of shot.

4. Watch out for the sun.

If you stand your children in the sun, you will get squinty eyes and dark shadows under them so either get your children to stand in the shade or under a tree when possible where the light is more flattering. Or stand them so the sun is behind them and you get the sun in their hair.  The light is softer outside on an overcast day or early in the morning/evening.

5. Clown around.

Get them to make silly faces – at one point they will burst into laughter so be ready as that is the shot you are really after! … and do the opposite – make silly faces at them, use toys with funny sounds, ask them to repeat silly things you have said, talk in a donald duck voice if you can …

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