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7 Tips for Photographing Your Children

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

We all love to photograph our children! They are changing so much and so fast and we want to remember all those joyful moments forever!


If you are looking to learn how to take better photos of your precious little ones, read on for my 7 tips for photographing your children.


1. Photograph them as they are


Yes, we all love to capture a photo of our children smiling and looking at our camera, but it is also really nice to photograph them in their own little world, doing their own thing and capture a little bit of their personalities. Give them an activity, something they love to do, and keep your camera (or phone) ready, then photograph them engaged in what they are doing.

These are the kind of moments I’m always looking for in my sessions.


2. Make the most of natural light


Light is one of the most important aspects of a photograph.

In fact "photography" means "writing with light".

Photo - light

Graphy - writing, drawing or recording

If you are using your phone, turn your flash off. If you have a camera, but don't know how to set it manually, it probably has an "auto without flash" mode, give it a try.


When you are photographing inside, turn off the lights and open all the curtains in your house to let some daylight in and capture natural window light.


If you are photographing outdoor, on a sunny day try shooting in the shade to avoid strong shadows under the eyes and neck. On a cloudy day the light spreads out and creates much softer shadows.


Avoid photographing outdoor right in the middle of the day when the sun is directly

overhead, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon the light is much prettier.


3. Pay attention to your composition


Thinking about what you want in your frame and taking the time to compose it will definitely make your photos much more appealing. There are a lot of composition rules in photography, but I’ll focus on a few of my favourite that I use every day when composing my images.

Rule of thirds

You don’t always have to have your child in the centre of your photos. The rule of thirds suggests that an image will look more balanced and interesting if you position your subject off-centre. If you turn your grid on in your phone or camera, you will see two horizontal and two vertical lines. Try positioning your subject on one of the four points where the lines meet.

Get down to their level

Instead of photographing from above, get down and photograph them at their eye level, this way you can get a better connection and more of the environment in your background.

Decluttering your background

Also, pay attention to what is in your background, avoid having any objects or colours that could be distracting your eyes from the main subject. Sometimes a simple step to the side can avoid a red car or a stranger in the background of your photo.


4. Start a photography project


Starting a photography project is a great way to keep inspired and push yourself to photograph more often and it will definitely help you improve your photography skills. Here are some ideas:

  1. Recreate old photos – Find some favourite family photos from when you were little (it can be photos of yourself, with your siblings or all your family together) and recreate those photos with your children.

  2. Repeat a photo – Start taking a photo today, it could be anything, a photo of them at the dinner table, sitting on the sofa, just standing by the wall, holding their favourite toy, etc... and repeat this photo every month. This is a nice way to keep track of how much they have grown and changed.

  3. 7 on 7 – Every month on the 7th take 7 photos documenting the day, showing a bit of your routine (it could be any day actually, 5 photos on the 5th, 10 photos on the 10th, you can pick your day!). A year later you will see how much your daily life has changed.


5. Select your favourite photos


Keeping our photos organised is really important. We take so many photos everyday, sometimes we love a particular photo and a month later we can't find it because it got buried and forgotten in our camera rolls. Try and go through your photos once a week and delete photos you don't like, similar ones, the ones with eyes closed and SELECT YOUR FAVOURITE ONES. If you have them in your computer, keep them in a special folder or if they are in your phone, you can create an album or simply heart them to add to your favourites folder. Then when you are looking for them, it will be much easier to find them than having to look through thousands of photos.


6. Edit Your Photos


Post-production is a very important part of a photographer’s life. Every single photo I deliver to a client goes through an editing process. Personally, I like to keep my photos very similar to what the scene looked in reality so I give them a minimum edit but there are a lot of possibilities when you are editing a photo, here are some of the basics:


Crop/straighten: The first thing I do is crop the photo. Sometimes I give them a small crop, other times I completely change the composition, or crop a horizontal photo to vertical.

Exposure: I really like to get my exposure right when I am photographing but sometimes I do some fine tuning on post and make my photos brighter or darker.

Contrast: Adding contrast to your photos can make the scene feel more dense and mysterious while reducing contrast can give them a more calm and soft feel. Make sure the transition of colours is smooth and that there are no parts of the photo that are completely black or completely white if you don't want to lose the details in the image.

Sharpness: If your photo is out of focus, sharpening probably won't do much (unless you try something like AI Sharpen from Topaz Labs for example), But if it is in focus, then it’s going to make it even sharper.


Here are some apps you can download to your phone and start practicing editing your photos:

  • Lightroom – The best editing app, with almost all the same tools you get on the desktop version!

  • Snapseed – Also offers amazing tools including "healing brush" that you can use to clean some unwanted stains or spots in the photo.


5. Print your photos


It’s the best way to keep them and make sure your children and grandchildren will have access to the in the future.

Start your collection of family memories, you might want to frame some of them, make an album or even just get a box and start filling it with your family photos.

In 30 years the computers will be so advanced, they will most definitely not be able to read your USB, just like it is really hard to find a VCR reader nowadays.

You may think your photos are safe in your cloud or google photos but if we can easily forget our log-in and passwords for the countless online accounts we have, do you think your children will be able to access your account and photos?

The prints will be there for your children to show their grandchildren and keep your memories alive!

Think about the joy your photos can bring to your family in the next generations. Last but not least, make sure to BE IN THE PHOTOS.

Maybe you don’t like your photos taken, you think you need to get your hair done or need to put some make up on, I understand all that! But think about how much your children will love to see you in their photos in the future perfectly imperfect just the way you are. You can use your camera timer, get dad to take the photos, take selfies, whatever you do just make sure you are in the photos with your children!


If you need help with that, I can create joyful memories and artwork for you and your family!


Get in touch, I would love to tell you more about my photo sessions.


Have lovely day,


Camila





Camila Lee is an Award Winning Family Photographer serving Dublin, Meath, Louth, Kildare and Wicklow






Check out my website camilaleephotography.com




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