Of course we all have! Kids! I absolutely love taking pictures of kids! It can be an amazing experience all around, or it can cause temper tantrums and frustrations for everyone. I choose the first option, I choose to have fun. So how do you get awesome pictures of kids? Let it happen.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any children that like to sit still. I don’t know any children that do what you want them to on cue. But I do know lots of kids that are cute, have tons of personality and are ready to let it shine. If you are attempting to take pictures of your kids or having someone else do it, go into it with ultimate flexibility, no expectations and you will get some amazing pictures. Below I have posted some pictures of my little boy that I snapped this morning with a few tidbits about each picture. Not a single toy or treat was used and I took all these pictures in probably 10 minutes.
I first pulled out the camera because I wanted to get a picture of my boy playing with an early Christmas present from dad. This is something that little boys naturally do, lay down and roll their car in front of them. It is always better when taking pictures of kids that you get down on their level. Sometimes you can get above or below them for a change in perspective, but you should always get on their level.
Aside from getting down on their level, don’t be afraid to interact with them. Throw a ball back and forth, play with bubbles- just have a good time. Their natural smile is going to be 10 times better than a forced smile. If you are lucky to get the forced smile!
For the next picture, I wanted to get a different angle. I moved to the left, closer to the head. I actually took some pictures where he was not even looking at me. For this picture, I just called his name, he looked at me and I took the picture. I really love the idea that within a picture is another picture. These first two pictures are essentially the same picture, just from a different view. I also have the arm of our couch in the foreground of the picture, to give the impression of peeking around at my little boy in this picture. This also adds dimension to the picture going beyond the 2 dimension. I also forgot to mention- in the first picture I turned the camera sideways to get a different angle. You don’t always need to hold your camera horizontal or vertical- change it up!
I agree with Annie Leibovitz, you don’t always need a smile. I love the little pensive looks that kids have. They are in such a big world, taking it all in, trying to make sense of it and learn everything they can. I also love close ups of the face- their big eyes, their little mouths. It also helps to place your subject off center in the picture as well, people refer to this idea as the rule of thirds (but more on that later).
My little boy did this next pose all on his own, I promise! Since I make photography a hobby, I usually have the camera laying on the counter, and I highly suggest such a practice. No tips for this picture other than this is a perfect example of letting it happen. I could never get my little boy to pose like this! I just happened to be ready with the camera as he was looking out the window and looked back at me for approval.
For this image I pointed to a car out the window. We talked about the cars features, in toddler talk, of course. Then I spoke his name, he turned around and I took the picture. Again, there was no posing here and there is no way I could get him to do that at my suggestion. I have found taking pictures of people in general they pose better themselves and then I can make a few adjustments. Kids are naturally cute and minimal to no posing is needed. Taking pictures of them just takes a little patience. Before a kid comes to get their pictures taken, I have the situation set up for them. I have the toys out, we play and let the magic happen. Another thing is that most of us have digital cameras, take tons of pictures!
On a final note, I love looking at pictures. Try these ideas with your kids, send us your pictures and I will post some of my favorites.
Merry Christmas! CM (Chocolate Mom)