It’s something we all wonder, how on earth do we get great pictures of our children, especially when you have more than one!
Our photographer Claire shares 5 top tips with us this evening. Let us know how you find these tips and if you manage to get a great photo, we would love to know!
Firstly, it goes without saying that it’s best not photograph your children when they are tired and/or hungry, as we all know that’s a recipe for disaster, but if you try to incorporate the following few tips when photographing your kids at home you will soon start seeing a difference.
Lighting is so important for good photography, with its quality and direction making a huge difference. Cloudy days are perfect, producing lovely soft light, but if the sun is out find a bit of shade under a tree or porch to avoid squinting and really strong shadows across the face. Try not to use built-in camera flash indoors, as this causes harsh shadows and can be very unflattering. Instead, make use of natural window light, which works beautifully. Ideally the light should be at around 45 degrees for a more natural look and to give the face some shape. It’s a bit more difficult with babies lying down, just remember not to horror light them from below!
Get down to the same level as your children and be willing to lie on the ground if you need to. Quirky angles can be fun, but be prepared for some distortion if you are looking down on them with a wider angled lens (big heads and very short legs). With young babies that are lying down try moving around them to take shots from different positions to produce a completely different look. Don’t forget to do some close ups too, particularly feet, hands and eyes of newborns. Set to ‘close-up’ mode or use a macro lens if you have one. Whatever you are photographing, always remember to check backgrounds, there’s nothing worse than a messy background or a pole or plant growing out of someone’s head.
Always carry a camera with you so you don’t miss that first smile or first step. Smart phones are brilliant for this and the quality of their cameras is generally excellent these days, but for more creative control and professional looking images, I would highly recommend a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Use wide apertures to throw the backgrounds out of focus (reducing distractions) and faster shutter speeds to capture movement of super speedy toddlers! If you are investing in lenses, a portrait lens of around 85/100mm is ideal, but an even longer lens of around 200mm if you want to zoom in to capture them unawares for a more candid shot.
Newborns and young babies can be posed, but once they are on the move it’s almost impossible. If you ask a child to ‘smile’ you will just end up with a big cheesy grin. It’s more a case of coaxing them into the right place then interacting with them from behind the camera, waving or squeaking a toy, playing music, singing and generally being silly in order to get eye contact and capture that beaming smile. Toddlers that won’t stay still can be extremely challenging and you will need to be quick. Set your camera to ‘sport mode’, or if you have more control a faster shutter speed, to freeze their movement. The most important thing is to keep calm, have lots of patience and make it fun!
Include older siblings
All parents love to have photos of their children together and if you already have more than one child you will know how difficult this can be to achieve. Toddlers will sometimes hold their baby sibling, but not for long, so work quickly and make sure there’s another adult around to grab hold of baby quickly, if necessary. If the youngest one is still not mobile, get them into position first, either lying on the floor or sitting up if they are able. Now use all your powers of persuasion to get the toddler in the shot too and if it’s with a newborn make it all about the toddler, so that they feel special too. Try to get them both looking at the camera, but making eye contact with each other can be really emotive too. If they are both a bit older then capture them have fun together, dancing, jumping or even running if you are outside.
Claire Walder Photography is a local home-based studio with a relaxed style, specialising in newborn, baby and maternity photography. To find out more about her services click here https://clairewalderphotography.co.uk or contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org