As parents, uncles, aunties and grandparents you will have young children or babies around you whom you love to photograph and photograph beautifully to capture their innocence. As a parent myself, I love to capture photos of my daughter doing various different things. However as I have keen interest in photography whenever I post a photo of my daughter on any social media, I get great response and likes.
People often say that well you are a photographer so you can take great photos. And my belief is that everybody can take great photographs even if they are not a “photographer”.
So let’s talk about what are the key items one must know about in order to take great photos of kids.
- Get down Low!
- Capture their Emotion
- Shoot Fast
Get down Low!
You might be wondering. What do you mean? Well it’s about the perspective from where we take photos. A common mistake and the first step towards better photographs is shooting from low angles.
Consider the two photos below. Which do you think looks better of the two? Left or Right?
If your answer is the photo on the right then you’d be Right!! Why? Because the one of the left is how I’d normally see my daughter, I’m standing up and she’s looking up at me. This is the everyday perspective that we adults have of kids so this photo is not ver pleasing. However the one on the right I’m at her eye level as I got down to take this photo and straight away this one is much better photo of the two.
So when we sit down on the floor and bring our eye level down to theirs or even lower you will see an incredible difference in the photos. They will be automatically better results. Let’s look at the next step which helps us further with getting better photos.
Capture their Emotion
Kids are so innocent that unlike adults they will generally give you a genuine smile when you ask them to smile. However, I don’t normally ask them to smile. I would just work and play with them until I get a genuine smile or laughter packed with emotion. If your child is somewhat shy, you should put the camera aside and just talk & play, becoming a child yourself. This will ease them up and they will open up to you so you can capture a great photo.
I find that capturing a genuine emotion is so much more memorable and precious to a parent rather than a posed or artificial smile. What you normally need to do is have your camera setup with the desired settings and turned ON ready to go. This will make you that much faster to react to a moment and capture it before it disappears.
I tend to get silly with my daughter and do whatever silly things she is doing and then take a photo when i find something special that she is doing. In the photo below, we were knocking on the metal posts and listening to the sounds. She was having so much fun and I grabbed my camera to snap a few shots of her quickly.
Once they start walking kids won’t stay very still for very long unless they are watching TV or playing with iPad/iPod. So getting them to pose and hold the pose for a moment is hard. So your camera settings must be fast enough to freeze and capture that special moment. I find that photos at 1/200th or faster shutter speed will work best. If you camera is taking a photo at slower speed you will very likely get a blurry photo.
So to get your camera speed up, switch the ISO to a higher setting like 800 or 1600. Most camera these days can go as high as 6400 or 12800 ISO however you will get usable photos up till 1600 or 3200 ISO. This will increase the chance of you getting sharp photos. If your camera has Scene modes, look for Sports mode which will achieve similar results.
You can clean the photos (of digital noise) using tools like Lightroom, Camera Raw, Aperture and of course Photoshop. But we wont get into technicals jargon here.
Another setting you can switch to is Continuous or Burst Shooting mode. This means your camera will take photos as long as the shutter button is kept pressed. You will find that out of 3-5 same photos one will be perfectly in focus and sharp.
I hope that these three steps will help you take better photographs of your kids and create some cherish-able memories. If you found this useful please share this post with your friends on your favourite social networks.
I’ll leave you with some more images to inspire you hopefully to get out there and practice these techniques.