Children are one of the most difficult portrait photography subjects - they don't take any direction, won't sit still and zoom around at 100 miles an hour! These five practical photography tips for moms should help you get the best out of your time with the camera and create some timeless images of your kids....
1) Give them something them something to do Children never spend long in one place unless they are engaged in something. It could be painting, playing with sand, playing dress up, going on the swing - whatever your child likes to do and is appropriate for where you are. This will keep them focused whilst you take candid and natural shots of them at play, plus you'll get a sense of WHO your children are through what they are doing. Don't force it though - remember you want to keep it natural.
2) Get down to their level It's much better to crouch down and get on their level - this helps you by getting into their world and seeing things from their perspective, giving you a better angle to capture different facial expressions, plus it won't look like they are dwarfed in every photograph! One or two from above is fine, but not every photograph should be from this angle.
3) Shoot in continous or burst mode This can make such a difference to the "hit" rate of getting good shots. (If you don't know what burst/continous mode is, it's where the camera takes several or a group of shots after one another. See "using burst mode" for more info and examples) You will find you get a better range of facial expressions, and also the number of shots with their eyes closed in mid blink will decrease!
4) Take lots of photos One of the major benefits of digital photography is that it costs nothing to take a photograph. A professional photographer will take hundreds of shots during a photo shoot and narrow these down to around 30 to show you, and of those, you will only end up buying a couple! Use the same principle when taking photos at home. Just be ruthless when it comes to deleting!
5) Relax and have fun. Let your kids be themselves. If that means going off to explore, let them go. You'll get much better pictures if your kids are enjoying themselves rather than trying to put on a nice smile for you. Remember, they don't need to be smiling, looking at the camera or even facing it for you to get a good shot. And never, ever get them to say "cheese!!"
So, keep these photography tips for moms in mind when you've got your camera out and you should start to get some better shots of your kids!
Ready to get more advanced? Take a look at these....
How to Photograph Children: Camera Settings
How to Photograph Children: Natural Light
How to Photograph Children: Composition