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Modern technology has made it so we all have easy access to high-quality photography equipment on a daily basis — and in the case of mobile phones that equipment is almost always right at our fingertips — so why is it still so hard to get great photos of our own children? They’re so beautiful and sweet and photogenic! But pull out that camera and suddenly it’s nothing but awkward poses, funny faces, realizations that the lighting is terrible, he has a stain on his shirt…
Getting good photos of your own kids is definitely no easy task, but these 4 habits can make it *a little* easier.
Take pictures every day
Get that camera out every day and you’ll accomplish three things:
- Your kids will get used to having the camera around and will stop acting awkward, overly posed, and/or frozen and shy every time they see it
- You’ll get a chance to practice your skills, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to where the best lighting is, your kids’ best angles, favorite camera settings, etc.
- You’ll increase the odds that you catch some of those amazing, candid moments that you always wish you had your camera for. More opportunities = more success!
Be conscious of clothing, and environments
Clothing and backgrounds have a big impact on how photographs look and feel — sometimes they dominate the whole thing. If your focus is your kids, and you’re going for something timeless and beautiful, keep clothes and backgrounds simple. Bold styles, patterns, words and phrases, clutter or strange/interesting items in the background all have the potential to serve as a distraction from your main subject (your kid). For example the photo above is one of my favorites of my cuties, but I did have to crop out a pretty obnoxious Angry Birds t-shirt.
Be persistent, and patient
Photography is a combination of skill and luck. You need luck to be in the right place at the right time, and skill to make the most of the opportunity. And accept that you will take a lot of duds before you get that one perfect shot (I read one article about a photographer who set up 15 full photo shoots with her kids before she got an image she truly loved), and that’s okay. When you do get “the one” it will last a lifetime.
Hire a professional
High-quality cameras might be easy to come by these days but there is still no replacement for a professional behind the lens. Why? Experience, mostly. It’s one thing to know what camera settings are for, and understand lighting and angles and find the perfect background, but it’s something else entirely to be able to weave all that together on the fly in order to effectively capture the fleeting moments of magic that come and go so quickly when photographing children. You’ll have the most success if, over the years, you combine your own daily efforts with an occasional professional shoot.
As photographer Summit Shah says, “The moment means everything.” So what are your best tips and tricks for capturing those special memories?