Do you ever catch your children doing something really cute, but find that this cuteness doesn’t quite translate in your photographs? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you capture photographs of your children that look a little more creative and a little less boring.
1. Get in Close to Capture the Details
If you ask me, there is nothing sweeter than the small details of our children. From their chubby cheeks, little button noses, round bellies, arm and leg rolls, all the way down to their tiny fingers and toes – we love it all. It is tempting to step back a bit to get that full-body image, but do not be afraid to get in SUPER close from time-to-time. Think of your favorite physical details of your children and aim to capture those. For example, I love my middle son’s long, thick eyelashes. My oldest son has the cutest dimple on his right cheek when he smiles. My daughter has the cutest little button nose. I want to capture these details now because I know they will change as my children grow.
2. Back Up and Capture the Entire Scene
Just as you should get in close to capture those tiny details, it is also important to occassionaly step WAY back and capture the entire scene. A few examples of when to step way back could include times when you are in an interesting location, or when your children are partaking in an activity – such as bike riding, hiking, playing on a playground, coloring, playing with toys, etc. When you look back at these photographs of your children, capturing the entire scene can help you remember where they were and what they were doing at that particular time.
3. Don’t Tell Them to Look at the Camera and Smile
It is nice to have some photographs of your children smiling at the camera. After all, we do want to remember what our children’s little faces looked like. However, we also want to remember how these moments FELT. When you are constantly telling your children to stop what they are doing to look at the camera, you will start to notice the same, stiff, emotionless expressions over and over again. Focus on capturing them in the moment without interrupting what they are doing. If they are playing, let them play! If they are crying, let them cry! Life is not perfect – WE are not perfect – so don’t try to force perfect moments for your photographs. One of my favorite photographs is of my daughter crying when she was two years old. It was a close-up of her little, sad face with tears streaming down her cheeks. She is a bit dramatic and I wanted to capture that. I never want to make my children appear to be something they are not. I want to capture the good AND the not-so-good moments.
4. Change Your Perspective
Have you ever heard that it’s best to get down on your children’s level when photographing them? While this is good advice, it’s also good to get other perspectives. Try moving around and photographing your children from various angles to create more visual interest. Stand directly above them and photograph straight down. Photograph them from the side to capture a profile. Or, photograph them from very low to the ground if they are laying down or playing on the floor. You can also try various compositions – placing your children in a different area in your frame and not always directly in the middle. Switching these things up can make your photographs more interesting and pleasing to the eye.
The real key when photographing your children is to experiment and just have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different. You might be surprised at what you can create. I have no doubt that with these tips you will be turning your children’s ordinary moments into extraordinary moments!