1. Get down on their level – we can be pretty intimidating as it is without hiding behind a camera chasing them around, trying our hardest to get them to smile and sit still. Get down to their level, kids love when you are at their height and you talk to them, they are more likely to stand or sit in front of you and you are suddenly more interesting to them.
2. Move in closer – we always want to get everything in the photos, start taking some shots by zooming in close, take close ups of their faces, you will capture many expressions and the photo is about the face not the head. I hear this so often ‘his head is cut off, did you know a picture with the head cut of can actually be more flattering because it captures the face? don’t be afraid these pictures are awesome framed, i guarantee your friends will be jealous of your modern and contempory style of shooting. Close up shots of their feet, tiny toes and fingers, hands, mouth, eyes also make great photos and something you will treasure forever.
3. Capture the moment – do you really just want photos of your kids smiling, they are so expressive when they are little, capture all the moments happy, sad, quiet, sleepy, screaming, crying, angry, laughing or curious. A great way to get some moments happening is to ask kids questions that are outrageously silly, they will give you a never ending supply of expressions. Also have your camera handy and when they are expressing some emotion either loudly or quietly take a couple of quick shots. You’ll be surprised what you can capture.
4. Keep shooting – Waiting for the perfect shot will take forever, instead just shoot and keep shooting, the beauty of digital is you can delete the ones you don’t want, it won’t cost you expensive film and printing like it used to. The kids also become relaxed because they can just be themselves.
5. Try out some different angles – turn the camera on different angles, again if they don’t turn out delete them, however you may just capture that piece of art. Also try shooting from above or lay down and shoot upwards, roll around the floor following your little one as they play. Go on nobodys watching
6. Use natural light and turn the camera auto flash off – learn this and your pictures will improve dramatically. Position the morning or late afternoon light from a window onto one side of your subject, this will give a warm light to your images. Position you subject with the light behind them and you will achieve that hair halo look. Turn the flash off, you are better using a basic table lamp with the shade turned up sideways to light your subject, camera flashes are too harsh you want a softer light. This is just a little snippet of a big subject, if you want to learn more there are many books on lighting.
7. Focus on their eyes – When looking at your subject always always look into their eyes for the perfect shot. If you capture the light in their eyes all the better. These are the windows to the soul and when taking pictures of your kids you want to capture their soul.
8. Plain backgrounds work best – until you become a pro, using plain backgrounds works best, having a heap of toys or other things in the background makes the photo too busy and you loose your child amongst the background, a simple flat white sheet draped over a couple of chairs with a light source coming from either side will work wonders. The other way around this is too get in close!
9. Understanding Composition – Not all photos need to be centred, in fact if you place your subject a little to the left or right, giving the photo some white space it makes an awesome photo. Try and practise not just placing your subject in the middle of your shoots.
10. Practise Frequently – The best way to taking better photos is too practise often, again the beauty of digital is it’s not expensive to practise.