How to photograph children with wow effect
Would you like to know how to photograph your children with a wow effect? Are you delighted with the children’s photography you see on Facebook and Instagram? Probably are you wondering how to take such a beautiful child’s photo.
In the era of smartphones and digital photography, taking a photo does not seem to be a challenge for anyone.
Pictures are a souvenir that last for years to come and our children are the perfect models.
They are the heroes of hundreds and thousands of photos. After all, it has now become second nature for anyone not just for a parent. You need to scrupulously record any moment in life that you want to look back on and remember that time fondly.
Over the years there will be more and more of those precious moments to capture. In most cases we tend to start monitoring the family life not within the first days of our child’s life. But when we discover that the new baby is growing in the new mothers’ tummy. The first “serious” photograph of the baby itself is often an ultrasound image.
Hi, my name is Kinga, a professional family photographer specialising in new-born and children’s photography.
My adventure with photography began with the birth of my eldest son. My first photos were mostly portraits, photos without stories or emotions. After many years of studying and practical work in photography I was able to achieve the level of expertise required me to focus and specialise in child and family photography. Today I will tell you the golden rules I like to follow on how to take meaningful photos of your kids
7 Golden Rules - how tot photograph children
1. Let talk about an Equipment!
To take really good photos of your child you don’t need a fancy camera. Most smart mobile phones have a fairly decent camera build in. The best camera is the camera you have with you…Our mobile phones are always closest to us and that’s what we reach for in most cases first.
The biggest disadvantage of professional photography is the size of the equipment and its weight. Before you get a camera ready it is so easy to miss that perfect moment.
However, if you wish to get even better photos, get something more professional. Make sure your camera is lightweight, small and has fast Autofocus. If it also has face recognition and a tilting LCD screen the that’s the right one for you.
2. Get your child comfortable with the camera!
Don’t just get your camera out for the big moments – birthday parties, holidays etc. Get your kids used to the camera and take pictures of them often in every possible setting. After some time, they won’t pay attention to you. And this will give you the opportunity to capture the most precious moments behind the lens.
The purpose of the photos is to show your everyday life, moments that no one but family members have access to. Photos taken in-between moments often shows the child’s real personality. That is the moment you will treasure for years.
3.Don't ask you kids to pose!
Don’t ask you kids to smile to the camera and pose. Be smarter! Timing is the key to good pictures here, especially with the youngest of children. Try your best to ‘predict’ the child’s behaviour and prepare accordingly to catch the desired frame. After a nap and snack time, while having fun, you won’t have to ask your child for a cute smile “cheese”.
If you want your kids to smile you have to make them smile. During a photo session, I often put my dignity to one side for the time we are shooting. I make various animal or vehicle sounds, I make silly jokes which helps to ease tension and get us all comfortable with one another. Try this yourself! Natural photos are much more enjoyable than studied poses. Spontaneity is the key.
You won’t be able to take an interesting picture if your child is forced to do so. Also, you can put them off being photographed by a camera.
One of the most important aspects of a beautiful photo is colour consistency. Before taking pictures, consider your outfit. Going for a walk, dress your child / children so that they harmonise with their surroundings and siblings. If you are looking for inspiration, check here LINK.
5. Use natural light!
Let’s find proper light! There is no picture without light. Try to use natural light as much as possible preferably not the strong sunlight at noon. Soft light and a shallow depth of field gives off good results.
Soft light – the light that falls through a delicate section of a window or a curtain.
Spy the light – A small cone of light shining through a half-open door, or reflecting from a table screen light.
Let’s avoid flash- Its harsh light creates unpleasant harsh shadows. Experiment with the perspective.
One of the golden rules of child photography is to take pictures with the child at eye level. It gives the impression that we are part of their world. Not only giants towering over them. This may mean crouching down or even lying on the floor. All in the name of achieving that perfect shot.
However, you are not limited to this one perspective. Experiment. Photos from above, below, reflected in a mirror or maybe in a chamber.
The most interesting images are always those that present the viewer with something new, something they haven’t seen before or a view they don’t see normally from a new or different surprising perspective.
Take a few photos of the same scene with different perspective. This allows the story you tell with photos to be more interesting, fuller etc. A wide frame showing the entire scene, close-up to a detail, a photo from the top or bottom, a photo against the light.
6. Continuous mode is your friend!
If your mobile phone / camera has an option called “continuous” mode please do take advantage of it. Children are unpredictable and unbelievably fast moving. Shooting lots of photos at once can increase the chances of getting good shots.
Photography composition is a massive topic. The rule of thirds is meant when taking the picture and placing your child’s face on one of the imaginary lines that divide your frame into 3. In photography, the places of line crossing is called the strong point. Those are the first places where our vision concentrates when looking at the photo. See example below.
As with all rules, (and this one is broken very often) I personally love to put the hero of my photos right in the centre of the frame.
Remember to give life to your best shots. Print photos regularly so that they do not get lost in USB devices or memory cards in a camera.
A photo only truly takes on real value when you can admire it by keeping it in your album and reflecting on it across the years as a family. Passing it down through the generations.
How to photograph children - summery
I hope that this short guide will help you to revive the spark that possibly your old photos lacked and that going forward you put the golden rules to use.
If you would like to be in photos with your family and not just the person behind the phone/ camera who documents candid moments of your family life, please do get in touch.
Not only will I keep your wonderful, unique moments together, you will also have the opportunity to meet with me to establish a plan for your own shoot.
I am always willing and happy to share my knowledge with fellow keen photography enthusiasts! Hope to see you soon.