Tips For Taking Photos of Your Kids That Make Everyone Smile
Everyone wants to take pictures of their kids that shows them for who they really are and freezes that one moment in time. But few of us manage it. When I take photos of my three, one of them usually ends up looking horrible. Since summer is key picture taking time, I asked fellow Bad Moms Club member Angella Dykstra to help me out with some pointers. Angella’s blogs: Dutch Blitz and her photography site are always filled with memorable photos of her kids and perfectly illustrate what I would love to achieve with my photos.
Guest Post: Taking Photos of Your Kids Is Easier Than You Think
I often have friends tell me that they love the photos that I take of my kids (Thank you!) and some of them follow it with a statement that they wish they could take good photos of their own kids. If only they had bigger and better equipment, maybe they could capture great photos of their own kids. I'm here to tell you that (camera) size doesn't matter.
In order to illustrate my point, I dusted off my point and shoot (a Canon Powershot) and will incorporate some photos from my phone as well. Yes, we want to get the nice poses but sometimes it's just about capturing the moment, you know?
1. Stay away from cheese
Getting kids to say the word "cheese" make their smiles look, well, cheesy. Get them to say "whiskey" (or "monkey" if you have an aversion to whiskey).
This may trick may not work after awhile and you while find your kids saying "whiskeeeeeeeee." So, throw out another rhyming word. Like "Poopy."
3. Shoot off-centered.
The technical term is "Rule Of Thirds" but here is the basic description: You do not want them right smack in the middle of the frame. Move them to the right or left (or top or bottom) of center and you will have a shot that is - instantly - better.
4. Catch them when they aren't looking.
We often think that the best shots are the ones where our child is looking at the camera, smiling the perfect smile, and showing the world how adorable they are. Sometimes, a great photo of them occurs when they are not even aware that you are snapping their photo.
Sometimes it isn't about the "perfect" shot. It's about capturing the moments in your days that capture your life together. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now you will be glad that you took photos of these every day moments. So will your kids.
As you can tell, I am a huge fan of black and white photos. I use Adobe Photoshop myself, but there are a couple of free services I've used (and you can, too). Piknik is a free web-based software with a paid upgrade option and Picasa from Google is free software that you can download onto your computer. Both do an excellent job of photo editing.
P.S. The key to getting the "money shots" - the ones that the grandparents in your life want, with the kids posed and looking nicely for the camera (see points 1-3) is...bribery. My kids have a "just one" policy (NO PRESSURE) and I've switched it to a "just one GOOD one." But if we're doing an extended time that includes a number of photos, they get a treat. So do I.
Angella Dykstra is the wife of one and the mother of three. She spends her days crunching numbers, her evenings and weekends playing outside with her family and her "free time" taking photos and writing online. She is a regular contributor at Work It! Mom, Daily Grommet, The Bad Moms Club and Life Made Delicious and has written elsewhere as well. You can also find her at her personal blog Dutch Blitz and her photography site .
Want more chaos? Last year I had to call in an expert to help out with the stress of brushing my daughter's hair. This year, we cut it off.