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Anybody can take good pictures of their kids

Ready for some photo tips?
I use to work in a portrait studio. I was the manager in charge of photography, so I spent most of my day in the camera room. I was obsessed with portrait studios at that point, I told my husband I was going to bring my children every month for their first year. We compromised. He would buy me an SLR and I would start my own photo business and I would never make him go to a studio. Not everybody can afford an SLR, so how do you get nice pictures of your children without spending a fortune at a studio? Here are my tips.

1. Shoot Outside. The fastest way to spot an amateur photo is use of direct flash(a single flash, pointed directly at the subject, such as on your point and shoot.) Shooting outside will make in not necessary to use a flash.
2. Don't shoot in the middle of the day. The sun is directly overhead which can cause weird light. I like mornings or early evenings.
3. Crop in. Have you ever looked at professional photography? There is not tons and tons of background. The frame is filled with the subject, there are a few exceptions to this rule but don't be afraid to get close.
4. Get your kids ready! When you take your kids to a professional, you dress them to the nines. Do the same thing for your shoot. It is going to look way more professional if you children's hair is done and they are clean.
5. Don't yell at your children. We had a saying when I worked at the portrait studio, once mom starts yelling, it's over. You upset your child when you yell and an upset child tends to not smile.
6. Shoot over a few days. The beauty of taking your own children's pictures is you can redo them. No money lost. Kids have bad days, just like you.
7. Pick a location other than your backyard. The park down the street is great because you can catch them in their playing element and it is close, so you are not upset over a redo.
8. Take a gazillion pictures. That is the beauty of digital, take a gazillion and go through them at home.
9. Wait until you are at home to delete. Sometimes a great photo looks crappy on that little screen or vice versa.
10. Bring a helper. Whether it is your husband, a friend, your mom. Bring someone that your kids like and will smile for. Since you are the parent, sometimes your kids will ignore your pleas for them to look at you. When my 18-month-old is being particularly stubborn, having my husband there always helps.
11. Don't be afraid to edit, or ask for help. I am always willing to help you figure out how to edit a photo.

Looking for more photo information here are this month's post at my blog on photo editing:

Photo cutouts- How to make it look like you went to Paris, when you didn't
File Management- How to keep your photos safe
How to use Layers and a free alternative to photoshop
Color Management - How to fix the bad color in your photos.

(The pictures in this post are all photos I have taken of my child, at a simple locations such as a park.)


Lu said...

I particularly like #9 about not deleting photos right away. Our house is so poorly lit that when I'm taking indoor pictures (you know, of the boy doing cute boy things, spur of the moment), the flash never fails to go off to make up for the dim lighting. On itty bitty camera screen, these pictures look terrible and whited out, but once I get them on my bigger computer screen, they look great (or at least better). :)

Cassi said...

Great tips!! Things I would have never thought of too! Thanks for the great post.

Brenna said...

Thank you so so much! This has been really helpful and I've been able to get some great shots of my daughter!