5 Tips On How To Take Better Photos Of Your Kids

Apr 6, 2020

We’ve all done it at some point… *pulls up google*….*starts typing…” 5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids”. We want to know because not only do we want to capture these moments for ourselves, but also to share with others! So since we all have a little more time on our hands’ thanks to COVID-19, I thought I’d share some knowledge on how to take better photos of your kids!

5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids

1. Pay Attention To The Light

Problem: Have you ever had someone take your photo outside and you can’t keep your eyes open because it’s so bright? That’s because the sun was most likely high in the sky and shining directly on your face. While you may think it will look better on the camera, it will not. We call that “Harsh Light”.

Solution: Position your subject with the sun hitting them from directly behind, or behind from an angle. This will create a pretty glow around them and not give them harsh shadows on their faces. Plus, they won’t squint their eyes!

iPhone Tip: Tap on the subject’s face and adjust the exposure. You always want the person’s skin to look good.
DSLR Tip: Try to use manual mode! I know it’s a little scary but the more you practice the better you will be! Base your exposure off of the person’s skin!

Image 1: This is harsh light hitting the subject directly, causing her to squint and her to be extremely bright. Don’t do this.

Image 2: Place your subject with the sun behind them or slightly to an angle. This gives a more even exposure for your subject and they aren’t squinting!

Notes from the photos above:

(You might also notice that the second photo is better exposed, however, she seems to have a green color cast on her face. This is because in front of her is green grass which the sun is hitting and bouncing that green color back up onto her face.)

DSLR Camera

2. Camera Settings 101

Problem: What should my settings be!?

iPhone Solution: Lucky for you, iPhone’s are pretty darn good today with advanced camera technology, portrait mode and now with the 11 Pro’s, you can even adjust your f/stop and shutter! More on that later! iPhones are pretty simple thankfully. Simply tap the subject’s face and adjust the exposure from there. You can also experiment with the slow-motion feature and other cool effects!

DSLR Solution: This one is a bit more complicated. First, I’m always going to encourage you to learn Manual mode. I know, the dreaded “M” icon that you’re scared to turn the dial to. Believe it or not…I’ve been there! I was always so frustrated that no one could tell me the exact combination to take a perfect outdoor photo. I’m so sad to tell you, but there isn’t a perfect combination. Every single situation is different with different factors. Read your manual and practice!

For a practical tip: Try starting with these settings:

ISO: 100-200 – (Since it’s bright outside you need a lower ISO)
Shutter: 250 – (Because kids are fast and your camera has to be fast)
f/stop: 2.8-3.5 – (Somewhere in this range will make sure your subject is in focus but also give you that pretty blurred background)

5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids - Perspective

3. Change Your Perspective

Problem: I feel like my photos always look the same. How can I make my photos look more interesting and fun?

Solution: So often we as adults are looking DOWN on our kids. Try to shift your perspective! Get lower to the ground or up higher than normal. Try different angles while they’re in the same spot. Get farther away, move up close. Try to capture what they’re doing from their perspective! Or maybe try and ariel view!

5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids - Don't Say "Cheese"!

4. Don’t say, “Say Cheese!”

When you read “Say Cheese”, what comes to mind? Yup, the forced smile that you KNOW is not your kid’s real smile. They smile way too big or have that look in their eyes like they want it to be over. Don’t say cheesy things like “say cheeseburger” or “oh just smile please!” This is the #1 way to make them hate their photo being taken. Instead, I’ve found that playing, tickling and asking questions about what they’re interested in works a lot better!

Example: This is one of my favorite photos ever of my girls. I totally wish I would have taken a behind the scenes photo because it was SO simple! I had a small little blanket I had laid down in the grass and told them to lie down next to each other, scoot really close, and look at each other. Then I had my assistant come up and tickle them just below where the camera could see. As she was doing that they were laughing so hard and I was taking tons of photos. This is the gem I got from something simple. Plus, they loved it and didn’t mind a camera in their face!

5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids - Put your camera down and enjoy time together!

5. Enjoy The Moment

If you’re anything like me, you want to capture these moments, but you also want to be fully present for your family and kids. You don’t want them to remember you with a camera in your hand all the time. (Trust me, I’ve struggled with this and continue to improve every day to draw the boundary lines.) If that sounds like you, try to limit yourself to only snap a few photos then put your phone away to simply enjoy the fun!

So there you have it! There are 5 tips on how to take better photos of your kids! If you still have questions or would like to schedule some 1-on-1 mentoring, click this link to contact me and set up a time to chat about what you’re needing help with! I would love to help you capture more of what you’re passionate about!

Email me at contact@katieosbornphotography.com

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