Have you ever tried to capture a moment for your family on camera and it just wasn’t working? The sun was in everyone’s eyes or there were just too many people around? It was after I had my second child that I grew tired of constant blurry photos and missed moments of my kids because I was fumbling with my camera. I was determined that I would learn how to take better images of them. After years of determination and practice, I can say I have accomplished that! If you are getting frustrated with your snapshots too, here are 3 tips that can help you to take better photos of your kids on your next adventure outing.
1. Look for light.
Light has the power to transform an image and can turn everyday moments in something more extraordinary. The light around you is constantly changing based on a number of things like your location and time of day. Harsh and bright mid day sun is usually super difficult to photograph people in, while light in the morning and evening will be softer. A lot of the fun activities we do with my kids happens at times of day that are not ideal to photograph in, but finding spots of shade or making sure the sun is behind them can help yield a better image. Also, if you can’t escape harsh light, have your kiddo put on sunglasses. They will look like a mini rock star and you won’t get tons of images of them squinting at the camera.
A few different lighting situations. In the top two images, the light was super bright. Having my daughter wear sunglasses and focusing on the shadows instead allowed me to still capture the moment while working with the light that was available. The soft, diffused light in the aquarium gave that image a more magical feeling.
2. Clean up the background.
We don’t have much control of what is happening around us in public but you can decide what you include in your photos. Cars, random strangers and ugly buildings are just some things to look out for while capturing your family’s memories. Really taking a minute to scan the background can save you some frustration later wishing that adorable photo you took of your kid smiling from ear to ear wasn’t overshadowed by all the people in the background. One of my favorite ways to minimize the background of an image is to come in closer to my subject. You can also try to shoot your subject from above (think standing on your tippy toes while they are sitting on the ground) or having your image vertical instead of horizontal. Paying more attention to the backgrounds around you and shooting around any distracting elements really allows your children to be the focus of your photos.
These were both taken in relatively crowded areas. Shooting slightly above my subject allowed the focus of the image to be more about them and less about the other people that were there.
3. Tell the Story
Did you know we read photographs much the same way we read written words? Our minds like to fill in the narrative points of “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how”. You can include these elements in photos to give them a strong story too. While you are taking your images, think of these points and then capture them. Focusing on the big picture with a wide shot will give you the “where” and coming in close for a shot of the details will fill in the “what”. Also, be sure to include natural moments when your kid is truly being themselves. Showcasing their personality will really bring out the “who”. Not every element will be in every photo but making a conscience effort to include more specifics about what is going on will be a great reminder later when years have passed and you can jump right back into that moment with your kids while reminiscing through your photo albums.
These images can answer multiple elements of a story. They tell us the “who”, “what”, “where”, “how” or “why” while focusing on natural moments of my kids.
So next time you are out playing momaraizzi with your kiddos, be sure to remember these 3 tips to help you rock your snapshots! Want more help? Sign up for my newsletter for even more photography tips, including information on an upcoming momaraizzi 101 photo class.
Bio and Links
Cynthia Dawson is a Toledo Ohio Newborn and Family Photographer specializing in lifestyle and emotive storytelling portraiture. She strives to capture the nostalgia of childhood with her photographs. Her style is storied, sentimental and emotionally intimate while still retaining the technical prowess and artistic originality of gallery quality images. Simply put, she transforms lifestyle photography into fine art for your family.
Website – http://www.cynthiadawson.com
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cynthiadawson/