Greetings from wet and humid Miami! I finally made it to BlogHer Food after thunderstorms in the area forced us to circle the city for more than an hour. But I made it safe and sound and am excited to start learning lots of cool food stuff tomorrow! Many thanks to my friend Courtney at Sweet C Designs for stepping in with a terrific guest post today. I know I can use each and everyone of these great tips! Enjoy!
Courtney writes….. Since upgrading my old point and shoot camera to a fancy DSLR a few years ago, I have been incredibly obsessed with learning about photography- how to get good photos, how to make people look their best in them, how to edit pictures, and I LOVE to keep learning! Today I want to share my favorite tips for taking great photos of your kids- no matter what kind of camera you use- from camera phone, to point and shoot, to DSLR! These Easy Tips To Take Great Photos of Your Kids is the perfect guide for any level photographer!
This post is going to show you how to take better pictures by finding the proper light for your subject. For all sorts of photography tutorials- some DSLR, some iPhone and some point and shoot, please check out my photography tutorial page on Sweet C’s Designs. There is a ton of info there for any level photographer!
First off, one of the most important things to worry about when taking pictures is light. It is crucial to have beautiful light when taking pictures- it really makes the difference between a good and bad photograph.
Now, unless you know quite a bit about bouncing flash or setting up extra lighting, this means NOT using your flash. That’s right- the absolute best way to take pictures of people is using natural light- which also means this isn’t practical for every situation. If you are at a party that is dimly lit, want to take a picture of something at night, or don’t have enough natural light these tricks will NOT work. Go ahead and use the flash in these situations, because photography is so fabulous because we get to capture memories- and that is really the most important thing over having a perfectly styled shot.
If you are in a situation where there is a lot of natural light, let’s get it working in your favor!
You’ll first need to understand the two types of light – direct vs indirect.
Direct light means the sun is shining right down on the person you want to take a picture of.
Indirect light means the person you want to take a picture of is in the shade (or inside), but it is very bright.
Direct light might seem like the best choice, because it means there is a TON of light- but it isn’t very flattering and can make harsh shadows.
Indirect light (shade) is the absolute best choice, because it is the most flattering, makes colors richer, and doesn’t make people washed out.
The easiest way to get gorgeous, bright and flattering light in your house is to set your child next to an open window where the sun is bright but not shining directly in (because again, direct light can seem super harsh.) If the sun is too harsh at the window you’d like to use, you can hang a white sheet in front of the window for an instant beautiful softening effect.
It works best if you stand in between your child and the window, but just being next to it will help a lot!
You will be surprised how much great light from a BIG window makes your pictures stand out.
Really- I took this one with an iPhone! I did add some small edits to it (changed it to black and white and did tilt-shift on it), but the rest is all because of gorgeous light shining in the big window on my daughter.
After you’ve found a great spot to take pictures next to a big, bright window, your work is half done. Now it’s time to set up your shot- and these quick and easy tips will get you a professional looking photo in no time:
– Fill Your Frame (I like to chant this in my head when I take pictures- it just means fill the shot with your subject. Get up close and make your kid the main focus of your shot!)
–Focus on the Eyes – if you know how to set your focus point, set it on your kids eyes. If the eyes are in focus, your picture will look great! You want crisp, clear photos of the eyes… the rest will fall into place.
–Don’t cut off Body Parts – this one is hard, but if you take the time to move your camera around to get a picture, it really pays off. You want to avoid making it looks like someone is missing an arm because it is tucked behind their back, try to avoid cutting off legs in a shot under the thigh, or cutting arms off below the elbow- because it just looks distracting. I often try to just cut the body off at the chest, the waist, or the thigh- or get the whole body in the picture. It’s not always possible, but doesn’t take a whole lot of work to move yourself around to try.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you to not only get out there and make some great memories….but to CAPTURE them BEAUTIFULLY as well!