Six tips to help you create amazing photos of your children.

Keep it short or get them involved in an activity

You may get a good photo by just having the children sit and look your way, but you’ll have to be quick, or provide some entertainment (see below). They’ll get bored after a short time. A better option is to get them involved in an activity. That could be jumping through the garden hose sprinkler in the summer, piggybacks, races, picking flowers, or looking for bugs. Quieter options are reading a book together or just chatting about  your last family holiday.

Get down to their level

Our normal view of our children is from our own height, above them. The child will appear much better if photographed from their own level, so the camera is looking straight at them. You’ll need to sit or crouch down (I’m often found lying on the ground as in the photo!). You’ll also be more approachable that way.  It’s often a good idea to chat and take photos as you’re chatting, so your child is thinking about the conversation rather than the camera. Try asking them a question, and taking the photo while they think about the answer. Avoid clicking when your child is talking. That gives odd expressions!

A little entertainment goes a long way

Natural smiles and laughter make great photos.  Sometimes, two or more siblings are already having fun together and you just need to document it in the best way possible. You may need to provide a little entertainment, being the slightly amusing version of yourself or remembering a funny episode that became a family classic.  Other times, you might need to do something daft. Young children always love adults not being sensible. Make it enjoyable for yourself.

Be flexible and relaxed yourself.

You have to go with the flow, and be flexible. If it’s not working, you may need to come back another time. Telling them to smile results in forced grins. Instead some entertainment is needed. Allowing the children to be part of the decision making really helps. Instead of telling them what to do, provide a choice – “would you rather sit with the flowers where the fairies walk or climb a tree? “.  Distraction also works well. If you talk about the squirrels and the birds in the trees, they’ll look for the animals and forget about the camera.

Outdoors is great – but with the children in the shade

The best photos without any blur or graininess will be produced outdoors where there’s lots of light.  If you are indoors, move very near to a window for really beautiful light. Either way, it’s best to stay away from direct sunlight which will create dark shadows or squints. Instead, plan ahead and find a shady spot where the light will be more flattering. Under an overhanging roof or under a tree is usually good.  You can then plan the activity in this spot.

Take a variety of different views

If you have time, a range of views is great. Take some close-up shots to show their faces and some wide shots that include the setting, especially if it’s your home or garden.  The wider shots will also include the interaction between the children.

In summary, try to make it fun, have some ideas for an activity or two, use the shade, and remember to sit down!  Hopefully you’ll create some amazing photos that show your children’s characters.

If you’ve tried your best and it’s not working out, don’t beat yourself up, get in touch for a friendly chat !