5 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids
Taking pictures of your children, pictures that look a little more put together than a quick snapshot, can seem nearly impossible. By using a few simple tips and tricks, you can take a painful experience and make photographing your kids fun!
We’ve all tried to do it. “You sit here, you sit here and you sit here. Don’t move. Smile. Be still. Stop doing that.” You get the picture. Or maybe you don’t. Trying to take pictures of your kids can be a seriously stressful, incredibly frustrating experience. Often, it’s not only the parents who end up frustrated and stressed out, but the kids do too! I won’t promise miracles, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you get better pictures of your kids, without sending anyone over the edge.
If you want to get some decent pictures of your kids, the first thing you need to think about is where you want to make the magic happen. I highly suggest you get outside. Lush and green or winter gray, you’re going to have more room to move around and less clutter in the background, you’ll have more variety in the shots you walk away with, and no one feels trapped in a space they can’t get out of. You’ll most likely have better lighting and more colorful pictures too!
Find a local park, head out into your back yard or your kid’s favorite fun spot – anywhere they can be comfortable and you can safely take pictures – is a great place. We have the lovely local park that has not only play equipment, but a greenway, pond (ducks, geese and turtles!) and lots of room for running. It’s a great spot for a family picnic followed by a walk along the greenway (and soee picture snapping along the way!)
If you want to take the best pictures of your kids you possibly can, give up on the idea of standing (or sitting) still. If you make them feel forced, most kids will be done – d.o.n.e. – and quick. Let them lead the charge, move around, pick where they want to stand. Use games (like Simon says or Freeze) to manipulate their positions or poses. Playing Tag is an excellent way to get some giggles going, and giggles make the best shots. Shooting s moving target isn’t easy, so use breaks in the game to snap pictures rather than trying to catch all the action. Be excited about suggesting things for the kids to look at or do (“Hey! Check out that Turtle!” or “I bet you can’t reach up for that tree branch!”) You’ll be surprised at the requests they will comply with when you don’t make it about setting up a picture. Let the poses happen naturally.
Pack The Necessities
There are a few things that will ruin even the cutest pictures… nasty noses, messy mouths and dirty hands. Bring along a very baby wipes, some tissues, and maybe a hair brush (especially if you have a girl.) Take the occasional break between games and silliness to check those noses, and if you’ve been eating or playing in the dirt, those hands! If you’ve got a girl and you’ve been doing some running and craziness, you might want to smooth down any crazy hair too.
Give your kids a chance to be goofy, funny and just plain silly. My girlie loves to “pose” in her own silly way, and I indulge her. We usually make a deal… let me take a few my way, and we’ll take a few your way. Sometimes her silly pictures end up being some of my favorites. Dance around with your kids, be crazy, and forget about who’s watching. Silly faces are fun for everyone. If you’re comfortable with your little ones handling your camera, pass it off and turn the tables. If they feel like they have some control, you’re more likely to get the results you want from them.
You know the line in that song… “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” Yeah, that totally applies. As a parent, you know how to read your kids. Don’t push them. Every photo outing won’t be a huge success, so don’t expect it. If you start getting a lot of push back or you can tell your kiddo’s attitude is shifting, give it up. There will be other times for pictures.
If you try to push your kids to take pictures when they don’t want to, you’re setting yourself up for a photo fight every time you pull out the camera. They have minds like steel traps… they will remember you made them take pictures when they didn’t want to, and I can promise you this: once the attitudes shift, you aren’t going to be happy with any shots you get anyway. When it’s time to put away the camera, put away the camera.
I promise, I really do – If you incorporate these little tips and tricks into your next attempt at taking pictures of your kids, you will be SO much happier than if you take the “sit here, sit there” route. Once you have shots you love, you can spiffy them up a little using the tips from our Drab to Fab tutorial.
Do you have any tips and tricks that you incorporate into your photographic adventures with your kids? What works for you? Share your thoughts with us here or on Facebook and good luck on your next memory catching session with your kiddos!