While I still can’t come to your yard for a session, I want to make sure your little ones don’t go undocumented. Over the next few weeks our yards are going to start to bloom, our kids may lose teeth, or grow a foot with all the food they’re eating at home, and they’ll reach new milestones. Here are some quick and easy tips for photographing your kids at home. Your smart phone camera has amazing capabilities and is always with you. Take a break from the kitchen and watching the news, and use your phone to preserve precious memories of your kids and family.
Photography provides you with an opportunity to slow down, especially during this time. You are with your kids ALL day long these days, but let’s take advantage of it. In the middle of all this craziness, we can capture the sweet moments and details. While you may remember this as a time that tested your patience, most likely, they’ll remember it as the best times. The weeks of sleeping late, of having mommy home, of carefree days running in the yard, watching tv, and making art projects. Just being.
“Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were“ – Adele
Sometimes photo opportunities happen completely spontaneously. Don’t worry about perfection and have fun in the moment without trying to manipulate it. BUT, if you are setting up for some higher quality photos, here’s what you can do:
1. CLEAR THE CLUTTER.
Be mindful of the background. Get rid of the distractions in the background (move grocery bags from the door, move the rusty umbrella, etc), or just move your angle so that the focus is on the subject.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO THE LIGHT.
Indoors: Turn off the overhead lights and use soft natural light when you can. Overhead fluorescent lights create a weird hue in your images, and often harsh shadows. Place the subject near a window so the light falls on their face, not behind them. And make sure to turn off the flash on your phone’s camera.
Outdoors: Look for shade so the sun is not directly overhead. Bright sun causes harsh shadows and squinty eyes. If you can shoot in shade, that is ideal. It’s best to put your subject in open shade. (Open shade can be found near a tree, or under a porch overhang).
Avoid having the sun shining at your subject’s back. They will appear very dark in the picture. Move yourself or your subject so the light is on their face in the shade, not behind it.
3. AVOID DAPPLED LIGHT.
Dappled light is when light is being filtered through a tree, so you have spots of light on your kids faces. If you see those sun spots, just move your child a bit.
4. GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL.
If your kiddo is a toddler, you may be getting your workout in with a squat! Get on a knee, engage at eye level. Simply bending down or changing position can drastically improve your pictures.
5. TURN ON THE GRID FEATURE.
There are no RULES in photography, but the rule of thirds is a good ‘rule’ to keep in mind for more interesting compositions.
It’s super easy to turn on: For iPhone, go to Settings —> Camera, and then scroll to Grid, and turn it on. Try a few different angles and then decide the one you like most later.
6. DON’T ZOOM.
I know it’s easier to use the camera zoom, as opposed to moving your feet closer to your child, but the zoom option degrades the quality of the photo. Just get closer physically, if it’s possible. If not, crop later.
7. MAKE IT A GAME.
Anything you can do to make it fun and interesting for them will help produce those beautifully imperfect smiles and laughter you adore so much. Have your child run towards you, or have siblings play ring-around-the-rosie. Ask them to check the other’s nose for boogers or look at each other and laugh – it works like a charm.
8. BE SPONTANEOUS.
Capture pictures when they don’t even know you are snapping the pictures. Try not to “say cheese” – cheesy smiles are not required for great pictures.
9. EXPERIMENT WITH ANGLES
Try different angles! Bird’s Eye View means you are looking down from above and it is a great change of perspective for photos.
10. HAVE FUN!
You have the ability to create and capture some beautiful memories, drop the idea of ‘perfect’ and just enjoy the moments. I dare you to set a timer and get in the photos for a change!
Keep following along with the blog for more photography resources and information! Visit my Contact Page to connect with me or ask questions.