Photographing FamilyPosted on: 18 November 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
How to take great photos of your child or grandchild.
Children are naturally photogenic. I've worked in studios and children are so easy to photograph. What I hear from parents is that they don't think that their kids are that easy to photograph. That's only because they don't know some basic tips.
1. Young children especially infants take beautiful photos while they are asleep. Keep the light natural and avoid flash if at all possible. Keep the image tight on the child and crop out distractions.
For infants when they're awake you're better off having another person in image, it gives the child someone to interact with and you can crop the shot to keep the other person out of the image or you can keep the adult and child in the photo.
2. Toddlers look best when they don't know that you're taking their photo. Candid shots are the way to go for this age group. Keep your camera handy and when they start doing something cute snap the photo quick.
Remember your child doesn't have to be looking directly into the camera to take a great photo. Don't ever say to the toddler, "Oh how cute, now look here." It won't happen.
3. Children ages four plus are really good at sitting for photos. But if you're going to dress them up make sure that they are comfortable and don't put them in some outfit they hate, it will show in the image.
Crop tight on your subject, keep the light natural, and if you're using a toy to get their attention make sure that it makes them laugh and doesn't scare them. I learned that lesson the hard way.
4. Older children are really good at dressing up for photos. The hardest thing will be getting a natural smile from them. "Say, 'cheese'" is a sure fire way to get a fake smile. Most of us learned young to smile automatically at that cue. Here you have to get silly.
One time I was working with a young boy and his older sister. She was a natural smiler and loved being dressed up. He was not happy and kept pulling at his tie. His mother straightened it for the tenth time. I posed them and addressed the young boy I said, "Now on the count of three I want you to say, "I hate this tie!" His sister smiled surprised at what I said, and he grinned. I took the photo. He then screamed, "I hate this tie!" Again both smiled wide and I took a second photo. The images turned out to be beautiful.
I hope these tips help you to take better photos of your child. With a little practice and a few tips you'll see better family photos immediately.
© Kelly Paal
About The Author
Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. She started her own business Kelly Paal Photography. She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art.
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