Thursday, 2 February 2017

5 Simple Steps To Taking Better Photos of Your Kids

Photography is an art, and it takes time to learn. Although I could overload you with information, for this post I thought I would share just a few simple steps to help you achieve better photos for your photo albums and keepsakes. All of these pointers are useful for those who shoot in Manuel or Auto!

I started photography just over three years ago and have been primarily self-taught with the exceptions of a few online courses. I can not claim I know it all, or I do it right. The creativity of an image could go far beyond these tips and although they are tips to help they are by no means "must do's". Photography is all in the eye of the beholder. Whatever you see and love, has value. And in all of this, photos are not meant to always be perfect. So whatever you do, don't get too caught up in the perfect photo while your baby is taking his/her first steps, or on their first carousel ride, enjoy the moment and snap that camera as is. But if you have a bit more time, want to have fun, or find photography a fun hobby here are a few tips for you! 

1. Go natural
Find the natural light, good ol' light from the sun. Although your baby's nursery may be bright from room lights, finding rooms or areas that provide natural light with help show true colours and creamy skin tones in your photos. Taking a photo in a room that there is little natural light, and instead, fluorescent room lights your child's face will most likely have an orange ting, and your photos will not show their true colours the same way they will when natural light is what is brightening the room.

2. Avoid Low Light
Kids are busy! Although there are different settings on a DSLR camera that could help capture your child's movements if your in a place you are shooting in Auto a big help is shooting in bright light. Although DSLR cameras have the ability to shoot in low light, your shutter speed needs to compensate for the light in darker rooms making it harder for your camera to capture movement (don't worry I will explain more one day). Your camera needs to be able to have a higher shutter speed which is harder and less likely to happen in darker rooms when shooting in Auto (again, very dependent on the lens and camera you use as well). If all you have is a darker room to work in, and you are shooting in Auto you may need to hope your child stays a bit more still or have to deal with a bit of motion blur or grain in your photos. If daylight, though, you should have no problem capturing your child moving, jumping, splashing in puddles while shooting in Auto in bright settings.

3. When To Shoot Into the Sun and Vise Versa.

When shooting with diffused light (soft light, not direct light) be sure your child or subject is facing the light. Again, when you shoot faces, facing away from the light will create more dark shadows and blown out backgrounds, making it a much less flattering photo. It is much easier to manipulate this when shooting in manual hence why you will see a lot of photographers shoot into the light at times but while shooting in Auto your camera may have a harder time doing what you want it to do. Place your child near natural light, or let's say they are playing on the floor and you want to snap a great photo, just turn their body slightly towards the natural light and stand in front of them to snap the photos (but not directly in front of your light source). However, the flip side is.. if your outside and it is way to bright out, you will want to turn your subject away from the light or even find shade. This way you can avoid squinty eyes and blown out highlights.

4. Clear your space
I can't even count a number of times I have snapped a photo of my kids and there is wet wipes, crackers and a broom in the background. Now honestly, we can all just be real in photos as well... no need to make everything perfect. But on the other side, environment and locations play a huge role in the aesthetics of your photos. Trust me, a photo with a clean background vs. a messy background will be much more eye-catching to your viewer or just yourself if you have a preference.

5. Follow the rules of thirds.
Rule of Thirds, take a look at this photos and visualise it when you are looking at your LCD screen or back of the camera. You see the 4 cross points? These are the points you want your subjects to be placed in. I follow the rules of thirds a ton in my photos... if you take a look at my photos on IG you will see most of my clients are typically placed a little to the left or right. This goes too for having your subject too high up in the frame or too far down. 

Photos by Julie Christine Photography

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