It’s always nice to be able to record special occasions a mile stones with your children. I meet so many people who struggle to take a nice photo of their children. Sometimes it is a lack of understanding of light, sometimes it’s composition, sometimes it’s wrangling your camera and sometimes it getting the right moment.
For those of you using manual settings on your cameras – here are a few tips to help you on your way. For those not familiar with these settings you may be interested in enrolling in the next ‘Learn Photography’ course to be held in February 2015.
If you have a child who loves to dress up, play it up for the camera then you may not have ever experienced the pain that some parents do when trying desperately to get their own kids to co-operate for a nice photo. Some children know exactly what is trying to be achieved and will go out of their way to make sure it doesn’t happen – these tips are for you. As a professional portrait photographer it is my job to get kids on side and capture the true them and I seem to do that well…. but even I find it completely different with my own children. This is what I have found works well with my kids.
- Don’t make a big fuss about what is about to unfold. In fact, don’t even let them know what you are planning.
- It pays not to get too hung up on what you want them to wear, as invariably it will be the one day they suddenly hate that dress or those pants are too itchy. Open mind = success. If heading out to a public location – simply achieving ‘Dressed’ is sufficient! And if it’s your own backyard who needs clothes anyway!
- Keep it brief. Your window of opportunity is limited. Very limited. Aim to wrap things up and put the camera away while it’s still all really fun – this helps for next time. If they remember it was a long, boring process and you just never stopped, then they will groan loudly next time you get the camera out.
- Aim for one or two really nice photos. That’s all you need. You don’t need to record the whole time at the park. Take some photos with purpose and then put the camera away and join in the fun.
- Rewards – take your pick. Arm yourself with something little for mini rewards during and something more significant at the end. As soon as something great is achieved produce your reward – don’t make them work too hard for it.
- Pick the right time of day. Early mornings or late evenings are best for the light but mornings are best for happy, bright, playful children so aim for it to be the first task of the day.
- If it’s overcast you have your pick of spots but if the sun is out, make it easy on yourself and find the shade. Pick a nice setting.
- As a starting point – Set your camera to f5.6, shutter speed 250th and adjust your ISO to suit.
- Stand back and use your zoom to accentuate the shallow depth of field and achieve greater separation from the background for that lovely soft blur in the background.
- Focus on the eyes. Remember they don’t need to look at you for it to be a great photo.
- Chat to them, make fun of them and act like a fool. It will make them laugh in the way you recognise and love.
These are my hot tips. All simple and straight forward but when it’s your own kids, it suddenly becomes more complicated. Last week I took some photos of my kids and their cousins for a gift. It was a great opportunity to get a photo of my kids to record them at this age. Here is my little man and two of his cousins.
For more on taking photos of people on location – the next workshop coming up is location portraiture – check it out – October 18th!
Also don’t forget – LENS NIGHT AT DIAMONDS CAMERAS is coming up in a few weeks – October 27th. Open to all.
A unique opportunity to learn, touch and try in a closed shop after hours. I will hold your hand and ask all the embarrassing questions you feel silly for asking and we will have the incredibly knowledgable brain of our co-host Lindsay to quiz and find out about all the latest options on the market.
- Unique and private access all areas
- Learn the ‘ins and outs’ of lenses
- Simple and effective steps to follow for future equipment purchases
- No pressure to buy
- Perfect chance to build a relationship with a trusted retailer
- Every attendee receives a FREE lens care kit
- VIP discount on any purchases
- The only workshop also open to those who have not yet attended any previous ‘Learn’ courses
- Numbers strictly limited to ensure an intimate learning experience.