I can't tell you how many times I've heard moms say "I need to take more pictures." Life gets busy and no matter how much you value photography there's not always that extra money to invest in a professional session. Let's take a look at five (non-technical!) things you can do to take better pictures of your kiddos regardless of where you are or what camera you're using :
1 | Be Mindful of the Light -
You can't take a picture without light so it's imperative that you become familiar with each type of lighting and how to shoot in it. When shooting indoors, utilize window light as much as possible (yes, you can move your subject!), since natural light is more flattering than artificial. If you're shooting outside on a bright sunny day, position your subject with the sun a bit behind them or find shade from a tree or building to avoid harsh shadows and squinting eyes.
2 | The Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds divides a composition in thirds horizontally and vertically (creating 9 equal parts) and suggests that an image is most pleasing to the eye when your subject lies at an intersection of two segments or is divided equally among each segment.
3 | Tell a Story
When taking a picture, you're deeming this moment worthy of being remembered for a long time. Camera in hand you decide what story to tell so be intentional about using light and composition to convey the mood, action, setting and characters that make up this story. Only include objects and props that aid in your storytelling. Unless your goal is to capture what a crazy-beautiful-mess life with a toddler is, think about excluding that cluttered night-stand from your image.
4 | MOVE Your Feet
Your images will become exponentially more interesting if you explore different angles. I can't stress this enough -- shoot from above, bend down, shoot at your kiddo's eye level, shoot through windows, lay on the ground.
5 | Let go of "Cheese"
Free yourself of the notion that kids always need to be smiling or even looking at the camera. Focus in on the part of them that best tells your story whether it's their teeny tiny toes or the epic tantrum you want to capture and keep for humiliation opportunities down the road.
BONUS | Learn to Anticipate
You know from experience that you might only have a split second to capture that priceless expression - but here's the good news : you only need a split second! You can literally photograph a beautiful image in 1/250th of a second. But these images aren't solely a result of simply being in the right place at the right time. Practice observing and being ready; the more familiar you are with your camera settings and the more you can anticipate a moment, the higher your chances for capturing that timeless, split-second image. Set your camera up and be content with just watching for a while. You'll learn to be empathetic to your subject and perhaps even see a few unexpected beautiful moments.
Want to take your picture-snapping skills even further? Check out my two-hour photo workshop : Snapshop!