When I started out as a lifestyle photographer, I was determined to learn how to take better photos of kids before we became parents. This came with a lot of golden retriever photos friend, because, hello, they move. More than kids (sometimes!). But they're also adorable so that part was easy. :) I will always thank our first fur baby Mosby for teaching me all about focusing, rule of thirds, and most of all, patience. Here are my 5 quick tips for taking better photos of your kiddos that you can get out and practice, too!
1. Get down to their level:
It's always fun to try different angles. They all tell a different story so don't be afraid to get down and tell it from their point of view. This is (by far!) my favorite way to photograph kiddos. Toddlers are always moving (too fast and too soon if you ask me) so you'll want a good pair of Nike's and squat down for a little quad workout. Sometimes I'll get the toddler where I want them and just follow them around. They're expert explorers so you get some natural smiles and giggles when they find a special flower or something shiny.
2. Simon says:
Who doesn't love a friendly game of Simon Says? "Simon says touch your head", "Tickle your sister", "Kiss dad on the cheek!" So fun, and honestly, you can't go wrong with those adorable kisses. I get a good game of this going and document as the magic unfolds.
I always have a stash of some sort of treat when photographing children. I like mini marshmellows or something small (and clean!) to reward them with when I get that sweet smile I'm longing for (mama approved of course). Littles sometimes need a little "motivation" *cough *cough "bribery" to keep from losing interest. The bigger kiddos have a treat for the end. I usually don't have to bring out my "emergency keep the littles happy" kit but I'm prepared if need be.
4. Edit in VSCO or Instagram;
I typically edit right in Instagram or in the VSCO app. They have several film options and it's free to use. You'll just want to play around with the contrast, brightness, and maybe warm it up a bit to fit your style. Once you find a filter you love, it helps to have consistency in your images as you look back on them. If you're uploading to Instagram, keeping a similar style makes your grid more pleasing to your eye and friends and family staring at those cute kids of yours.
5. Give trouble:
I love to tell the siblings in secret to go tackle mom and dad during their family session. I'll photograph them alone and when I have what I want, I give brother and sister the wink and a nod. You can apply this at home, too. Tell big brother to whisper something silly in sister's ear or start a tickle fight (no tears, please!) when they're not expecting it. It's a win and a good laugh for everyone.
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