With kids out of school for the summer, they are likely to be the subjects in many of our summer photos. It got me wondering about tips for taking better shots of children, so I spoke with two photographers who shared their secrets for taking good, child-friendly photos:
• Forget about telling children to smile. They will likely force a smile to please you. It’s much better to give them something to smile about. Crack a joke, or make a silly expression in order to get them to laugh.
Another option is to try a little reverse psychology and tell them not to smile and not to look at you. They will usually smile right into the camera with a little giggle and impish grin, resulting in a fabulous photo.
• Children don’t have to smile in every photo. Some of my favorite kid photos are the ones where they look intently into the camera. One way to achieve this is with the promise of a story. When you begin to tell the story, the child will look at you with such interest and anticipation that it usually ends in a wonderful expression and a great photo.
• In order to get the perfect shot, it’s helpful to take a lot of photos of the same pose. Digital cameras have made this super-easy; simply delete the shots you don’t like.
Most point-and-shoot cameras have settings for several special occasions, including one for taking better portraits, one for taking nighttime photos and one for better action shots. Kids are always on the move, so action shots are likely to reflect them at their most natural selves. Getting a good action photo is as simple as choosing the “action” setting on the camera.
• If you’re taking photos at the beach, it’s a common misconception to have your subjects facing into the sun. However, it works better if you have the sun at their backs.
The sun will illuminate their hair and you can illuminate their faces with the flash from the camera. This technique is known as “fill flash” and it eliminates squinting and harsh shadows caused by a bright sun.
• It’s also important to fill the frame with exactly what you want to see in the photo. Avoid standing too far away from your subjects and just keep moving closer until your viewfinder is filled only with the amount of picture you want.
The longer daylight hours in summer present the perfect opportunity to take lots of photos. And while your kids may roll their eyes when you pull out the camera, they are sure to thank you later.
Contact Sandi Genovese and find free video demonstrations of more photo projects at www.scrapbookshowgram.com.