5 Ways to elevate your everyday photos of your children

Photographing children (and pets) can be notoriously difficult – I would even go as far as especially our own children. They are energetic, fast moving and lose interest pretty quickly because nowadays a camera pointed at them is near enough a second nature. I have put together 5 ways you can elevate your captures your little widlings everyday with ease and be rewarded with more intentional photos.

#1 Observe

Some of the best photos of your children will be the ones when they are playing, having fun and immersed in their own world.  Sometimes posing children in the way we like can end in frustration and cranky mood, so by observing the scene, rather than setting it, we are left with opportunity to capture the moment perfectly and  are also rewarded with a beautiful memory.

#2 Tell a story

To capture memorable image that tells a story (remember a picture speaks of thousand words) is to change our perspective – it’s not always about setting the scene, get closer, step away, go wide angle, capture the details – you want to feel the image, not just see it. More often than not, people take photographs from their height. Make sure you change it up sometimes, try different angles, move your body to get unique view, move the camera with the movement, get down to their level or lay down on the floor, take a birds eye view of your child surrounded by their toys. These simple changes will open new opportunities, seeing the world from different perspective.

#3 Don't say cheese

I make lots of jokes about this and even forbid parents to ask their children to smile or say cheese or the new kid on the block ‘sausages’– it’s pretty much the fastest way to ruin a photograph. I love all expressions, all emotions in children – no one is smiling 24/7 and capturing a natural expression will make much nicer memory than a fake grin.

I love when my kids don’t even notice that I’m taking photo of them but when I do want them to look and smile, I rather make them laugh by saying something silly or play peek-a-boo (age dependent although it makes the older ones laugh more), put something on my head or make funny noise – you will certainly achieve more natural, joyous expression on their faces.

#4 Focus on their eyes

A simple image is often so impactful! Eyes say a lot about our emotions and mood we are in, they are windows to our souls and placing the focus on them is the best way to make sure that they are the main feature.

To set a focus on your phone is to simply tap where you want the focus to be or tap and hold to have continuous focus on that spot and just move with your subject (yeap, I couldn’t help but sneak one in of the dog!).

#5 Light

Last but not least! Without it, there would be no photograph. There is so much on this topic so I make it as simple as possible.

Indoors – when photographing indoor, try seeing and finding the light in your home – backlit, sidelit work absolute wonders with shadows that contours their features on their little faces. When you start a play or you know that there is something from this stage that you want to capture, steer the play towards the lighter corner of the room – it will make a world of difference in quality but also adds to dimension & strength of the photograph.

Outdoors – there are so many factors to consider. With sun high up, remember that shadows will fall down on their faces so using a flash to fill in the dark areas is a great trick. If you can though, avoiding this is as simple as finding bit of shade from a tree, building or creating one with your body, especially if you don’t want to disturb the moment. Shooting against the sun is another great trick to avoid unnecessary shadows casting on faces or try capturing interesting silhouettes.

In conclusion, simply let them play and enjoy while you take the pictures. All you really need is camera phone (all photos in here were taken on my phone, no cheating!) or point and shoot, you can get some great photographs of your littles and once you want to level up, a DSLR may be worth investing in, start simple with auto setting but certainly experiment with different modes, this will give a great satisfaction when you get it right!