9 photo tricks for pictures of kids

One of the awesome things that has happened over this past year and half of blogging is my ability to take a decent picture.  I’m not a photographer and I don’t own a fancy camera, but I have figured out a couple of photo tricks that make taking pictures of my kids much easier.  Pictures that I am actually proud to share!

Take a ton of pictures.  If you have ever researched photography you have read this tip.  There are two reasons I think it is so important.    #1.  Just like anything else … the more you practice the better you will be.    #2.  Sheer volume.  The more pictures you take the better chance you will have one that blows you away!

Try different angles.  If your kid is doing something that you just have to capture try coming at it from several angles.  Stand on a chair, squat down to their level, look over their shoulder.  Try one from the left and one from the right.  You will be surprised at how different each shot can be.

Use the action setting.  What can be said about almost every kid you have ever met?  They move.  Oh boy do they move.  I started using the action setting on my camera when Big M was in soccer.  One day I left it on by mistake.  What I found was photo changing.  The action setting on my camera runs a steady stream of pictures with one press.  I hold the button and pictures are taken rapid fire until I release.  I end up with 100 pictures of almost the exact same shot, but there are almost always 1 or 2 brilliant pictures that I never would have caught clicking on my own.

Use the close up setting.  The close up setting is meant for non moving objects that are fairly close.  Don’t just think itsy bitsy bug, think kid reading a book.  The pictures are crisp and clear.

(Action and Close up are the only two settings I use… mostly because I have used them enough to be completely comfortable with them.)

Try to avoid editing later.  So if you are taking 100 pictures of the exact same shot can you imagine how long it takes to weed through the trash pictures?  The better you get at framing pictures the less time you’ll have to spend editing… trust me this one is important.

Don’t stress you can crop it later.  Yeah, yeah that totally contradicts what I just said but the truth is it’s not always possible to get into the perfect position.  If you have one or two pictures that need cropping, so what.  It’s pretty easy…  I’ll give you some tips on photo editing next week.

Lighting matters.  Ugh. It’s true.  Lighting make a world of difference when it comes to a photo.  What is perfect light?  For me an overcast day is a dream.  I love taking pics in the morning and in the afternoon.  There are also a couple of windows in my house that I know provide the best light.  I try to set projects up there whenever possible.  (When you find a picture you love think about where it was taken and what type of lighting it was.)

Forget the “cheese”.  Don’t expect your kids to pose, all that leaves you with is a stiff picture.  While using the action setting talk to your kids instead.  Tell a joke or say something that makes them smirk.  The expression will be more genuine.

Use props.  Sometimes props are important (for bloggers the props can be the most important part of the picture.)  If there is a favorite toy or lovely in the pic use it.  I can’t see Little M’s face in this pic, but it captures a memory and it makes me smile.

Are you looking for more great photo info?

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  1. I am a photographer and snap shots of children. I agree with almost everything on here. I disagree with Try to avoid editing later”. If you truly want a beautiful photo, you will most likely have to edit it. The camera doesn’t always capture the colors we had in mind. I take 400+ photos on a photo shoot with children. I go through each other. It takes time, but isn’t agonizing. “Don’t stress you can crop it later.” That is editing. 🙂

    1. I am a very pleased to hear that you (as a photographer) agree with almost everything. 😉 When I first started blogging I was editing every picture. Putting together a post is already rather time consuming, when I figured out how to cut the editing from MOST of my pictures it saved me so much time. So for me, trying to minimize the amount of pictures I have to edit is a big deal. That is why I “try to avoid editing later” but “don’t stress because I can crop it later” if I need to.

    2. I’m a photography student right now, and as much as I want to agree that editing makes a photo more beautiful, after studying film for so long I’ve learned that it’s so important to take a next-to-perfect photo with your camera first. With all the new-fangled editing software available, it’s easy to say “Oh, that can just be edited later” but in reality the more editing you do, the worse the quality can become. Also, with over 200 photos to look through and process, when the off camera quality is good, the post processing time is cut down immensely. Do the job right (or as right as possible) the from the beginning, and you spend less time worrying that your over-exposed, blurry, cropped photo just won’t look good enough hanging on your wall.

  2. i love taking pics , my family call me the pictures queen / my family come to me if they need pics of their kids or some other family member thanks 4 some tips

  3. Like you I love taking photos I have grandchildren Like all Nana’s I want plenty memory’s , I’m learning all the time your advice was a great help I’ll be taking away a few tips on my next outing . I will be looking out for you next helpful tips Big Thanks

  4. We have an ‘amateur’ photographer shoot a family photo session each fall. (Our four girls are 7, 5, 3 and 3). She shoots 150-200 digitals, then gives us a DVD with all the pics in color and B&W. I have ALWAYS found numerous candid photos that I have LOVED. Sad looks, distracted looks, “ooh I see a bug” looks. We almost always get some nice posed family shots, but the ‘money’ (value) is in the unplanned photos . . .

  5. If you have one of those classic say cheese moments (like at a zoo or disney on ice or what ever) and your child is in the forced smile stage have them say a best friends name, mommy or daddy works too.

    1. I love that! My son seems to be hanging out in the forced smile stage. 🙂 We try everything to get him to relax. I know saying his best friends name would get him smiling for real.

  6. My littlest has a cheese face only I can love lol I have her say “I love puppies/kitties” and it works wonderful

  7. Thanks for the Wonderful tips & great advice!! As a blogger myself with an Etsy shop & working on a Start-up Boutique it’s extremely time-consuming when you are having to spend 10- 20 minutes editing 100+ photos ( thats not considering the time it takes to write and organize a blog post, shop listing, social networking statuses, etc..).
    Your tips are a must for those of us who use our photography for such exposure, especially when our Brand & image means everything!
    The only thing you have missing is a printable check list for us!! {LoL} … But I guess “beggars shouldn’t be choosy!! ”

    Hope you don’t mind!! I will be making a check-List from this!!
    Also, any tips you have on adjusting WHITE balance!! Please share!! Have been struggling with this for a while now along with others I know!!

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