Why am I sharing tips for better kid photos at this time?
So many of us around the world are under shelter-in-place orders. We are staying at home in an attempt to save as many lives as possible during this Coronavirus pandemic we are all living through. It is a time when we are together, day in and day out, with our kids. You may want to capture this unprecedented event and get the best images of your children and family as possible.
I thought I would do my part to help.
Let’s look at a typical kid photo:
Most people have taken pictures of kids that look like this one (to the right). We shoot from above (since we are most often taller).
An on-camera flash was used for this image, likely due to low indoor light with the camera set on auto.
Separate from the cute kiddo, who doesn’t love a good dog photobomb? I certainly do, but it without the red-eye (which is often green in pets).
All in all, this shot could have been better. So how can we improve on it?
Tip #1: Get on their level
A classic trick for a more intimate photo and the first of our 3 Tips for Better Kid Photos, is to get on their level.
Look how much more intimate this image feels. Photographing kids at close to eye level brings you into the child’s world as they see and live it.
Again, this can also be great for pets, however, you may want to avoid calling their name to get their attention. I’ve been knocked down my share of times for making this mistake.
They don’t want their photo taken
If your kids are anything like mine, asking them to be photographed probably won’t go over well. We may think this is fun, but they might not agree.
Some kids will always love being the center of attention and being in front of a camera. Like many adults, however, for other kids, this might not be their cup of tea.
If this is what you are dealing with, you may have to try a different tack.
Tip #2: Start an activity
After so much time at home, our kids are getting bored. If they don’t light up at the idea of a photo session, maybe they need activity.
Give them a game to play, something to engage in such as baking cookies or building blocks — involve a sibling, another adult or yourself. This gets them busy and allows for a happier kid (or kids) and more naturally pleasing images of them than the side-eye or eye-roll will tend to give.
Not going to smile, thank you
It has reached the point where you have to admit it — they just aren’t going to participate in this with you.
They are done. They have had it. They want to do their own thing.
True for you? Then let’s try something different. Admit defeat (doesn’t have to be out loud) and put your camera down (for now).
Tip #3: Just let them be
You may also have a camera-shy kid, one who isn’t fond of seeing themself in pictures or one who just doesn’t smile on cue (or for the camera).
Regardless of their reason, if you are running into a brick wall, try letting your kid just be.
It may take some time and patience, but often they will eventually gravitate to an activity they uniquely enjoy off on their own. That can be a great time to capture them in all their glory but don’t disturb them by asking them to look at you or to smile.
I hope that these 3 Tips for Better Kid Photos help you get some great images of your kids and/or family during this time of being at home. If you have questions, please post them in the comments – I’d love to connect. You can also check out more tips, photos and connect on my Photography Page on Facebook or check out my Family Portfolio Images.
Be well & stay healthy.