6 tips to taking better photos of your kids

Want to get better photos of your littles?  Check out this great post from professional photographer Tricia Eaton, owner of THE Photography.

Tricia is a wife and mother of two young girls with a third one on the way.  Tricia is a lover of dogs, ice cream, cheesy chick movies, coffee, chocolate, and running.

1 – Know your camera and its presets

Whether you have a point and shoot or a DSLR, if you aren’t shooting in manual mode, then know the presets built into your camera. This will require reading that pesky manual. Hate reading? Try to find a YouTube video that will summarize the key features quickly. Doing so helps get your exposure triangle correct (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) for your situation. And don’t worry too much about all the fancy face detection, etc. Not as important.

2 – Avoid using flash

To many this might sound crazy, but flash is very tricky and can cause a lot of problems since everything in photography depends on light. Too harsh flash can wash out skin tones, cause for details of subjects to be lost, cause harsh shadows and create red-eye, just to name a few problems. Adjust your preset to shade, indoor or night time settings and see what your picture looks like. Hint – that’s what the preview screen is for, try the picture in a few different options.

If you must use flash, try to bounce it off the ceiling (if your flash allows you to movie it) or try a piece of paper or Styrofoam to diffuse it a bit. This will make it less harsh, and I promise, result in a more flattering picture. Take a look at these DIY built-in-flash diffusers.

3 – Find some open shade

Direct daytime sunlight not only causes people to squint and make unflattering faces, but it acts just like harsh flash. It causes dramatic facial shadows that make for not-so-ideal photos. Instead, get your kiddos under a tree, or oning. Some sort of open shade. This is why so many photographers prefer to shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon, because the sun isn’t as harsh and makes for more flattering pictures.  One thing to avoid, shade speckling, you know the design from the leaves or whatever else you are standing under, yeah well it can be very distracting if it hits your subjects.

Bright Light
Open Shade

4 – Let them play and be messy

While I know you always think those shots of them smiling are cute, and they are, I love to get more candid and real life pictures of my kids while they are playing. So snap away the next time they are running through the sprinkler or making a mess of their dinner. These moments won’t last forever and you’ll love having pictures that capture the crazy times. Then you have some great content to fill those annual albums.

5 – Rule of thirds

This one is easy, if you have it, turn on your grid. If you don’t have one, then visualize the grid when you take images. Our instinct is to center every picture, but by applying this concept you can make your pictures more interesting and draw eyes to more powerful spots. You either want to align your focal point along the lines with the intersections being the most powerful.

6 – Snap away

The beauty of digital cameras is that you don’t have to pay to develop every photo anymore. So play around and see what angle is best, what presets are best, etc. I have a ton of great pictures that I will cherish for years because anything I see of my kids that I like, I grab my camera. They may not all be award worthy, but they mean a lot to me and I will pass them along to my kids.


iPhone tips When taking pictures on the go with your phone did you know that you can turn on your rule of thirds grid? Also, iPhone has a great ability to adjust lighting and take some good pictures. However, you need to make sure it is basing its exposure triangle on the right subject. To do this, just tap where you want the sensor to focus and you will notice it makes the appropriate adjustments! Now you’re cooking with fire!

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