Get a little closer. One of the biggest differences you can make is to get closer to the subject in your photo. Sometime we are caught up with getting the nice scenery behind them and our children get lost in the image.
Look for different angles. One way to get more variety in your photos is to look for different angles instead of always taking them straight on.
Try to engage your kids. Be silly, make funny faces, jump around, sing silly songs. They will be more likely to give you natural expressions and they will have more fun.
Try distracting your kids. It can be hard to get young children to stay still for a photo. Try putting something on your head like reindeer antlers or put something on the top of your camera like a fuzzy sticker. You will get their attention and they most likely look straight at your camera.
Natural is OK. We all have this notion that we want the perfect portrait of our children. Remember to capture the every day moments. The blank stares in space, the moody, sullen moments, the quiet moments, these are all memories that you will want to look back upon, not just the smiling picture perfect moments
Know when to stop. If you are starting to get upset with your kids then its time to put the camera away and try again another day.
4 Tips and Tricks for lighting:
Golden hour! The best time of day to take outdoor pictures is one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. The light is soft and pretty during those hours and the shadows are not as harsh. The next time you head to the beach, take your kids out for a nice walk one hour before sunset and bring your camera!
Overcast days are the best! Whenever we have an overcast day I run and get my camera and head outdoors with the kids. The clouds create a diffuser over the sun and it softens the light and minimizes shadows. My favorite outdoor images have been taken on overcast days.
Look for open shade. A great place is a porch, gazebo or under a tree. This will help your children from squinting.
Back light. If you have to take pictures in bright open sun be sure to place the sun behind your child rather than putting the sun behind you. This will make a pretty halo of light behind your child and will also make them less likely to squint!
Remember to have fun! I love documenting my children’s youth with photographs whether it’s with my DSLR or my iPhone. Some of my favorite images of my children are not the posed holiday cards images but rather the spontaneous, in the moment images that capture what they are doing and how they are feeling!