Taking photos of kids can often feel like a redundant chore. You want to capture their every move, but at the same time, you don’t want a scrap book that’s filled with the same candid look, page after page. Click through the jump to see 5 tips to make your memories come alive with a few simple (and non-photoshop) ideas….
1. Get Down On Their Level: Many photographs of our kids end up being taken from above. That’s just the nature of adults being bigger than toddlers, but some of the best shots can come from lying on the floor and waiting for the perfect smile or quizzical look as they do normal everyday things. Try setting your camera on the floor to eliminate any shake and take a few shots without looking. Even if you cut off the tops of heads, they can sometime make for the best photos.
2. Don‘t Be Afraid To Photograph Normal Things: Taking a bath, eating, sleeping, watching tv or online attractions are all daily things for most children. Sometimes we think there has to be a special event to bust out the camera. Don’t wait for birthday parties or holidays when 99% of our life is spent doing regular every day things. Try different angles and try to eliminate as much background clutter as possible. It will help the action stand out in your photo without being lost.
3. Center And Then Shift The Camera: Pictures can appear redundant if all the action in a shot takes place in the same physical place in a photo. Try centering your child and then shifting them to the far outside of the frame. If they happen to be looking one way or another, shift the extra space in the shot in that direction. Also try rotating the camera up or down for a slightly tilted look that isn’t quite straight on.
4. Avoid Smiles: Let’s face it, as much as we want to remember our children’s early years as all smiles, there’s often frustrations in their little world, but our scrapbooks don’t always represent that. Don’t be afraid to photograph frustrating moments, tearful times and all others in between. As children learn their emotions they can often be more expressive than they will be later on in life.
5. Catalog, Catalog, Catalog: Although it’s not a manner of taking a photograph, it can be the most important thought in your picture taking arsenal. With digital cameras becoming more inexpensive and digital media being quite affordable these days, it’s relatively easy to overdose on your picture taking adventures. Before you know it you’ll have thousands of pictures roaming around your computer and if forgotten for even a few months, can snowball into a crazy mess of who, what, when and where. Most cameras have a date stamp that will register if your photos are uploaded to a free online service (we’re partial to Flickr) without having to manually turn on a date stamp like you used to. We’ve found the easiest way to keep track of things is to make files for each month of each year and clean our memory cards off at the end of each month. Even if you don’t remember 10 years down the road, who the other people are in the photo, you’ll still know what time it was taken in your children’s life.
Taking great photos doesn’t mean you have to have a fancy camera or that you have to be an artist, it just means thinking about the photo before taking it. Don’t forget to keep your flash off as much as possible for natural looking photos!
Do you have a great photo taking tip to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)