Capturing great photos of your own children can be such a challenge, amirite!? They’re so quick and and often equipped with the attention span of a gnat. By the time you get that camera app to open they have moved on to the next thing. I know not everyone has the ability to get professional photos of their families. I want to give you guys some of my tips for setting yourself up to get great photos of your kids with the camera you most likely ALWAYS have on you; your phone.
To get the one amazing shot you are going to have to be patient and ready. Since your children have no patience to sit still for your dream photo, you have to have patience to wait for them to give it to you. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s true. Wait for that organic moment and that genuine smile rather than forcing them to participate. I love to put down my camera and talk to kiddos about things they love. Dinosaurs are usually a good way to get Ethan smiling, I hold one up and call it the wrong thing and it typically gets a chuckle.
Find the right light
Many people become worried when they’re going to have professional photos done and the forecast says cloudy. Photographers LOVE cloudy days when shooting outside. The sun will cast harsh, strong light and create really dark shadows. Clouds act as a diffuser and help to soften the light and allow for nice soft shadows. If it’s not cloudy, find some open shade and look for even lighting across the skin.
Photographers have 2 small time frames during the day that we prefer to shoot, its called Golden Hour. Golden hour is within an hour of sunrise and sunset, when the suns rays have more atmosphere to travel through and produce longer, softer shadows. So if you want amazing light (and you’re brave lol) take your kiddos out to play just before sunset.
Get down on their level
I love to add interest to a photo by getting down to the kids eye level and seeing the world as they see it. I love sitting my kids in front of a pretty bush to fill the background, eliminate distractions and make sure the focus is on the child.
Emphasize their smallness
I also love to get up above them and shoot down. This perspective shows the viewer how little the child is compared to their world. You can see in the photo below that I’m actually standing on a chair to get above her as she climbs the slide.
Remember the details
Their toes aren’t always going to be this tiny. They won’t always go down the slide on their bellies. Don’t pass up these sweet moments when your child isn’t into looking at the camera or doesn’t want to smile for you.
The small details are going to be the things you miss most when they grow up. Someday I’m going to see a small child go down the slide on their belly and tell Ev about how she used to ride that way.
Frame them, draw the viewers eye in
Find a way to frame them them in the photo, I love using this circle in the kids play place! This is an easy way to play peek a boo and get them to look at you and smile naturally! Find interesting archways in a hall and put them in it!
Don’t shoot up the nose!
This angle is super unflattering just about any way you do it. No one wants to search for boogies in a photo. Try to aim down the nose if you can 🙂
There you have it, some tips to help you take better photos of your kiddos with your cell phone. Get out there and practice! I’ll admit I could use some more practice with my cell phone. I love the control I have with my good camera, my cell phone isn’t as fast so it takes me some time to get that shot I’m looking for. The camera on my phone is what I have available 95% of the time though so it’s what I use and I love it for it’s easy access.