Let’s face it, even though many of you own really nice cameras to take photos of your kids with, you usually capture the majority of the cute memorable moments of your children’s lives with your camera phones. Guess what? So do I, the professional photographer. No, I do not carry my large, heavy DSLR camera and all my lenses that go with it everywhere I go with my kids. That’s just crazy. As if I didn’t have to cart around enough stuff. My phone is compact and rarely isn’t further than an arms reach of me, making it always readily available. Plus the quality of the cameras on most smartphones is good enough for those snapshots. Plus having the ability to instantly share our pictures on social media for our friends and family is an extra bonus. But just because we use our phones as our primary camera, doesn’t mean we can’t have great looking photos. Here are just a few tips for snapping some great pics.
Find good light.
When shooting outside in the bright sunlight, it is sometimes hard to avoid those dark shadows and squinting eyes. If possible move your subjects into the shade and face them towards the light. If that is not possible, turn your camera flash on to help brighten some of those dark shadows.
EXAMPLE OF BAD LIGHTING
EXAMPLE OF GOOD LIGHTING
Think about how you place your subject within the picture frame.
There is this natural tendency to stick our subject’s head dead center of the frame. Don’t put let your main subject take up a little bit of space in the middle of the picture with a lot of unimportant stuff all around. Get closer to your subject and fill the frame with them. Think about the background and all that is included in the shot, then adjust to eliminate all that you don’t want shown in the picture.
BAD EXAMPLE OF SUBJECT FRAMING
GOOD EXAMPLE OF SUBJECT FRAMING
“Cheese” is out. “Stinky Feet” is in.
It’s hard to get those natural smiles from our kids. When you have your kids say “Cheese” you often get that forced cheesy smile that is worse than if your kid didn’t smile at all. Instead have your kid say something that is funny or will make them giggle. My favorite is to tell my kids “Say, ‘Mom has stinky feet.’” You can always try a joke or ask them to pretend laugh. I’ve found with my boys the grosser, the better the smile. Another trick is to ask them to make a silly face. Then I snap the shot of their funny face, and that is usually followed up by a genuine smile which I snap quickly after.
Whatever you do, do not threaten them with a loss of something. Nothing can ruin the moment and a child’s mood by saying “IF YOU DON’T SMILE THEN WE ARE NOT GOING OUT FOR ICE CREAM!” Yeah, like that is going to put your child in a good mood.
Turn your pictures into artwork with photo enhancement apps.
We all love Instagram for sharing our pictures, but sometimes the filters can be a too much enhancing. My favorite app is called PicTapGo. The filters can be decreased in intensity as well as layered. They have great filters for adding contrast, lightening or darkening photos, or adding cool effects. Once you are done creating your perfect photo you can send it off to your favorite social media sites, including Instagram, or save it on your phone.
I was recently asked to share some of these tips on a segment for Arizona’s 3TV. Check it out!
Now that you have a few tips to think about when shooting those oh so cute pictures of your kids, share them with us on Instagram! Just put #evmbphototips in your description. I can’t wait to see all your great shots!