We’ve all been there. Chasing after your kids. Yelling at them to say cheese or smile at the camera. All while they are focused on anything EXCEPT us.
There’s an easier way to do this.
I know I get so caught up in capturing the picture perfect moment, but it’s not always the perfectly posed photos that turn out amazing. It’s the rare moments, their expressions frozen and evoking so much emotion, and it’s in that moment that you will look back and remember this time.
Give your photos a fresh, new perspective. You don’t want all of your pictures to be the same boring pose over and over again. It doesn’t reflect life, and it most definitely doesn’t reflect the way kids act day to day. The pictures you take should chronicle their lives. It should take a journalistic approach.
Here are 7 of my favorite ways to capture my kids on camera.
1. Change your perspective.
Don’t always take pictures from above, looking down on them. Get down to their level. You will get more clear shots of their face and, therefore, their expressions while they’re playing. My favorite part about this tip is that you can really see them concentrating on what they’re doing/thinking. Young kids are always absorbing everything in around them, and being down on their level gives you a glimpse into that. As adults, we lose the wonder and curiosity that we were born with. Live that way again through their eyes.
2. Focus on details.
I don’t know what your favorite part is, but for some reason, I just love my kids’ mouths. My daughter’s lips are so full and beautiful, and when she smiles, it spreads from ear to ear. And my son, he always curls his lips when he’s really in deep thought. It reminds me of how thoughtful and inventive he is. No matter what it is about your kid that you love, highlight it. Take a close, tight picture of that little detail. When they’re all grown up and no longer has that baby face or those tiny little fingers or those ears that stick out oh-so-cutely, you will have wished you appreciated it more.
3. Get candid shots.
Some of my favorite moments as a mother is when my kids are getting along and playing together. Their interactions are so adorable! I love grabbing my camera and zooming in from afar and being an observer of this rare moment. It’s also nice proof that they really didn’t always fight and CAN actually be nice to each other. Capture these moments. Tell this version of the story. Show the love and bond between siblings. Or, for an only child, get photos of him playing with other children (with the other parents’ permissions, of course).
4. Add a prop.
I remember, when I was younger, I had a pink stuffed dog that I loved and carried around with me everywhere I went. It was a huge part of my life. And, in almost every picture of me as a child has that dirty, well loved toy in it. I love that I get to see that and remember my best (stuffed animal) friend. If your child has a favorite toy or lovey, add it to the picture. Capture them playing with it, holding it, loving it. Sometimes, just putting a toy in their hand is enough to stop them in their tracks long enough to snap a few pictures as well.
5. Go outdoors.
Kids just light up when they’re outside. Something about the fresh air and the unlimited space and the ability to squeal at the top of their lungs. Take them to the park. Get pictures of them swinging, or sliding, or playing in the sand. This gives your photos some movement and really draws the eyes in.
6. Take pictures in natural lighting.
Indoor lighting, no matter how good, just doesn’t measure up to the natural light of the sun. So if you are inside, open up all the windows. Get as much natural light as you can in the room. Try to plan your photoshoots for midday when the sun is the brightest if you are going to be inside.
If you plan on doing outdoor photo shoots, my favorite time is the golden hour. It’s that hour before sunset when the sun isn’t as harsh and creates such a soft, natural glow around your subject. Pull up your weather app and see what time the sun sets for the day. Or, you can google sunset times for the date you want and your location.
7. Tell them to act silly.
This is by far the easiest way to get them to be comfortable in front of the camera. They just LOVE to make funny faces, and you can capture that moment that they’re laughing right after they’ve made their silly face. Or, if you like the silliness, those make for great photos too!
8. Sometimes, a clean background makes all the difference.
I love the light, airy, and minimal look in photographs. It really makes the subject pop and makes it the focal point and highlight of the picture. There’s no distractions, just their sweet cherubic faces. So, before you start snapping away, do yourself a favor and just scan the area and make sure there’s nothing distracting in the background. I know most of my rooms have toys littered everywhere. So when I take pictures, I make sure and go and just put everything to the side. This leads to a more “professional” looking picture. Unless of course, you are wanting to capture the chaos. Because, what is motherhood without a little chaos?!
What other creative ways have you found to photograph your children?! Share it with me!