So, you’ve got a camera and you love to grab it at every available opportunity to photograph your kids… all those milestones, all those days out, all the special times together as a family. But sometimes you wish you could improve the photos you take… sometimes it’s frustrating that they won’t look your way, smile at the same time and generally behave for the camera, right?
As a specialist in natural Family Photography, I know that capturing wonderful photos of children has a huge dollop of Child Psychology involved. So here’s some simple ways you can capture better photos of your children BEFORE you whip the camera out!
1) Pick your moment
Have you ever been in the middle of a good book/film/bubble bath and someone is suddenly DEMANDING your attention? Irritating, isn’t it?! You’re right ‘in the moment’ and you don’t really appreciate the interruption. This is quite often how children feel when they are absolutely in the middle of THE BEST GAME EVER, or perhaps have just arrived somewhere new and exciting and want to explore…. and and and… you want to take their photo! You’ll get a much better response if you pick a moment when they are NOT dying to go off and do something else quite so much.
2) Stop trying to make them sit still
Fact: kids don’t like to keep rigidly still. In fact, it goes against every childlike instinct they have. Even when they are ‘sitting still’, they’re not really… they’ll be swinging their legs or picking at something with their hands. And the more you ask them to ‘keep really still’, the more unnatural their expression and position. Instead, think of ways to keep their interest so that they stay still enough to get the shot you want… whether that’s telling a story or pretending to be a princess/pirate/Gruffalo. Or simply accept that the sitting-still poses don’t really show their character anyway and try capturing something more ‘active’ instead!
3) Don’t ask for forced emotion
You ask for forced emotion, that’s what it will look like. You know how it feels as an adult when you have to smile on cue. It’s 10 times worse to expect children to do this, as they haven’t really quite mastered that fake emotion thing like us grown-ups. So, leave out the “Say Cheese/Sausages” routine and actually try getting some real smiles. You know your child best, so work with what makes them smile and giggle. Whether that’s singing Postman Pat, telling jokes, blowing raspberries; try a different way next time you want a beautiful, natural smile.
(All the above photos are taken of my own children, whom, believe it or not, are actually much harder to photograph than other people’s children!)
If you’d like to learn more about how to take better photos of your children by both understanding about your camera AND learning about the best ways of working with kids, then click here to find out more about my ‘Creative Photography for Parents’ Photography Workshops held at venues within Surrey (next one is Sat 9th May which still has a few spaces).
PS I love to bring all my experience both as a mum and a professional photographer into this Workshop… you’ll find out the best settings on your camera AND how I get those lovely natural smiles from my own children! Come along and join us in a small group where you’ll get 1:1 attention whilst you learn.