Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Five Simple Tips for Taking Pictures of Your Kids!

Hello everyone, my name is Rebecca Cooper and I'm so excited to be here on Mommy's Idea.

I am a SAHM of four (Emily 7, Carson 5, Addie 2 and Alivia 8 months), wife to my wonderful husband Randal, an avid scrapbooker and a professional photographer. We're from Canada but are living on the Caribbean Island of St. Eustatius for the time being and are loving our new tropical home. You can read more about our little family and our adventures on my blog Simple As That.

Today I'm going to share a few quick photography tips with you. Let me first start by asking who out there takes a lot of photos of their children? My hand is way up! In fact my husband thinks I take a few too many. ;)

Do you struggle to get that ever elusive smile? You know the one I'm talking about right? A 'real' smile, not one of those cheesy grins we know all too well. Perhaps you're stuck at getting your child to stay still long enough to snap a photo that isn't blurry? Whatever your photography woes are, when it comes to taking pictures of your own children, I have a few ideas that might help.

1. No More Cheese Please. While it may seem to do the trick, asking your child to 'say cheese' will yeild a smile that is just that...cheesy. Try engaging your child in a conversation about something they are interested in (ie. an upcoming birthday, their favorite tv show, a recent family trip, what you're going to do after pictures) and be ready to catch that winning smile. While it may take a little more time, that beautiful smile is always worth the wait!

My two-year old Addie has the cheesy smile down to a science but when we get serious and start talking Princesses or Dora the real smiles aren't hard to find!

2. Be Prepared. When taking photos of your children a little bit of planning can go a long way. I like to have everything ready ahead of time that I may need for photos to make the best use out of our picture taking time. Have a chair ready for them to sit on, snacks or a drink, diaper wipes handy for a messy face or runny nose. Make sure your camera settings are correct and your battery is fully charged, etc. Plan around your child's schedule so they won't be hungry or tired during photos. Any planning you can do ahead of time will make your photos go that much smoother.

Naptime doesn't usually make for good picture time.  ;)

3. Make it Quick. Children's attention spans aren't very long so make the most out of your photo taking time by being quick with your camera. Know your camera well so that you can switch quickly and easily between settings when needed (your camera's manual is a great resource to learn the ins and outs of your camera). Adjust your camera settings where necessary to capture more images in a short amount of time. Burst mode or sports mode are great tools for this especially if you have a young child who is on the move. If you are shooting in manual be sure to check that shutter speed and make sure its fast enough as well.

This little guy was busy as could be but when he was ready to sit down for a second (literally) I was there with my camera waiting and got this quick shot.











4. Let Your Child Set the Pace. Capturing great photos of your kids happens most often when you allow yourself to step back, observe and let your child run the show. My kids love it when I let them have a turn choosing their poses, where to sit, or to make a silly face for the camera and when it's mom's turn afterwards they are much more cooperative. Be sure to pay attention to your child's cues as to when they're finished with photos. If it's no longer fun for your child put the camera away for a while and change activities or come back to it another day.

 Emily's turn...

mom's turn...

5. Make it Fun. Associating fun times with getting their photos taken is exactly what you want your children to do. Not only will they enjoy getting the photos taken but they will actually look forward to them the next time. Enjoy a special treat together after pictures, bring along a fun prop (ie. balloons, a bubble maker), hand the camera over to your child and let them play the photographer. If you have a busy toddler who doesn't want to stand still we like to play the game stand on the ___________. Find an object on the ground like a stick, rock, or bring a long some stickers that they can stand on and try not to fall off of. There are many things you can do to make pictures a fun experience for you and your child.
Capturing memorable photos of my children is so important to me as I know it is to so many of us. I hope these 5 simple tips will be useful the next time you pull out your camera to capture some of those memorable photos of your own. For more easy to follow photography tips check out Rebecca's ebook 40 Top Tips for Better Photos by Ella Publishing.40 Top Tips for Better Photos: Simple suggestions for stunning photographs (by Rebecca Cooper)


ehjenn said...

Rebecca you are a genius!! Thanks for the tips.

rebecca said...

so glad they were helpful Jenn...be sure to share the article with your friends/family.



sara said...

these are great suggestions, rebecca! i especially love the "child's turn" and "mommy's turn" suggestion. genius!

Mandy Ferry said...

Hi there, your tips and photos are gorgeous. I'm trying to master the 'blurred background' can I ask what kind of settings you used to achieve this?
Kind regards

Bobi said...

I love the idea of getting them talking about a subject they are very interested in. I think this would even work on adults who have a hard time posing for the camera. Thank you for the idea.

Diatomaceous Earth said...

Yes....this is what I've been needing. It's always hard to capture the attention of little people. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!