Photography 101 | Tips for Photographing Your Kids

Tips for Kid Photography

Life's not perfect.  At least mine isn't.  A day at the beach and all I wanted was a posed shot of the twins.  Sitting there with the ocean behind them, in their cute swimsuits and adorable squishy thighs.  I wanted to capture this moment in time.  In wanting to get photos of them together, we decided to feed them lunch a bit early.  Their first picnic on the beach.  In between bites of chicken, K became all too preoccupied with our bowl of pasta salad.  Determined to eat it herself, I finally gave in and let her have the container.  With pasta salad all over her face, hair and swimsuit, there went my perfect beach photos.  Or did it?

I grabbed my camera and began to shoot.  Because, isn't this what it's about?  Capturing those moments of time in all it's perfectly imperfect-ness! [is that even a phrase?!]  But you get what I'm saying.  Sometimes, it's those organic moments that become your favorite!  And these shots from the beach are hands down some of my favorite of the twins.  Mainly because it really shows what their personalities are right now.  P's my happy go-lucky explorer, K's a bit more serious and focused.

So, in wanting to encourage some other moms [and dads] to take the pressure off of getting the perfectly styled pic, I put together my top ten simplest tips and tricks for photographing the kids!  


1.  Natural Light is your Best Friend

Get the kids, the family, whoever...outside!  It's a bazillion degrees outside?!  The next best thing...an interior with large windows and lots of natural light.  Turn off those florescents!

Tybee Island

2.  Welcome the Clouds

An overcast day is a photographers lucky day!  Can't help that the sun is a shinin'?!  Get into the shade.  Use that from a tree, a covered porch or a building.

twins on Tybee

3.  Turn Off The Flash

Yup, you heard that right, turn off the flash...completely!  Natural, filtered light is what you're striving for.  And in case you need the reminder...

natural light = sunshine                 filtered light = sunshine filtered through clouds, creating a soft glow

twins on  tybee

4.  Get to know your Device

Nowadays, a fancy camera isn't needed to capture beautiful photographs.  With plenty of tips on the web, do a bit of research on the device you do have.  

5.  Using an IPHONE?  

Turn HDR to ON.  Located at the top of your screen in camera mode, most have it set to auto.  Click on it and switch it to ON!  What's HDR?  This takes three almost simultaneous photos [one overexposed shot, one underexposed shot and one balanced].  It puts all three together to get a high dynamic range image.  In simplest terms...it gives you the best lighted shot possible! 

6.  I have an DSLR Camera.  What lens do you recommend most?

50mm!  Hands down a 50mm!  I have some wonderful lenses, but by far, the best bang for your buck is a 50mm.  Plan to spend about $100-$150 for a quality one.


7.  Forgo the Posed Photo

When it comes to kids and photography it's nearly impossible to get the whole family smiling and looking in one direction for a picture.  Instead of stressing out over getting the perfect pic, give into the chaos and give up on the notion of a posed shot.  Rather, get the kids doing what they do best.  Playing, laughing, chatting.  The goal of the image is to capture the essence of who they are.  Standing there awkward with a fake smile for a posed image doesn't portray the moment very well.  In fact, they now make and sell those shots in books titled:  Awkward Family Photos.

8.  Capture the Details

They say it's all in the details.  Those squishy thighs, little hands...those are the things I'll miss most about my babes.  Having those shots focusing on those things, will bring a flood of memories when I look at these down the road [and a flood of tears, I'm sure].

9.  Document the Mess

Like I mentioned earlier, these photos went in a totally different direction when K grabbed the pasta salad.  And these pics couldn't be more perfect.  The girl loves to eat and has yet to meet a food group she doesn't like.  Lobster Risotto?  Check.  Crab Rangoon? Check.  So, what's a bucket of pasta salad?  Just like here mama!  Document the messes in life, because one day you'll look back with a smile.

10.  Set A Time-Limit

I dread nothing more, than to think I'm the Mom asking my kids for just one more shot....a baziliion times over.  Set a timer and don't go over it.  If a photo's not working, change locations.  And if needed it may be time to quit for the day.  Because, while you want to document the moment.  You also need to be present for it! 

I'm testing out some new post content!  Would love to know what you think in the comments below!