10 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Children
By NJ Baby Child and Family Photographer Tara McGlinchey
Who doesn’t want beautiful photos of their children? They change so quickly as babies and toddlers so it’s important to us to capture the small details as well as the big moments in these quickly passing years. The good news is that you don’t need a fancy camera or expensive lenses. Just think before you click and you’ll be surprised at how tweaking your techniques can make a big difference. My 10 simple tips will help you take better photos of your little ones.
1. Set yourself up for success. Pick a time of the day when baby is at his or her best. If your daughter has big smiles in the morning or your son is very giggly after his nap that’s the time to get out your camera.
2. Keep it natural. Asking a toddler to sit and say cheese is generally not going to work. Capture your baby being herself. If she likes to play peek-a-boo or build a tower of soft blocks and knock it down, then get out the blanket and blocks.
3. Be aware of the light. Take photos very early in the morning or late afternoon when the light is soft and diffused. If you have to take photos outdoors in the middle of the day, seek out the shade because it is very difficult to photograph anyone in bright sun without also getting those squinty eyes and harsh shadows.
4. Watch your backgrounds. Take a moment to absorb the entire scene. If something is there that doesn’t add to the photo then don’t include it in the frame. Redirect your smiling, happy baby away from the trash bins or parked cars behind him.
5. Fill the frame with your focal point. Your child is the main focus of a photo so get in close and fill the frame with her.
6. The eyes are the window to the soul. Focus on the eyes for portraits. Babies smile and laugh with their entire face and there is nothing cuter than some smiling baby eyes. A baby looking off to the side or directly at the camera with (or without) a smile can also make a beautiful portrait.
7. Perspective. Mix it up a bit. Get down to a child’s level. I often sit or lay down on the ground to capture a baby eye to eye. Try photographing your baby from behind to show what he is looking at.
8. Relationships. Photograph your child interacting with the important people in your lives. Does baby loves being on Daddy’s shoulders or trying on Granny’s glasses? These are the moments in time that you will want to remember forever.
9. Keep shooting. Don’t just snap the shutter once. Fill up that memory card. You can always delete those that aren’t your favorites, although some of the more awkward poses can turn into cringe inducing classics in a few years. Children’s moods and expressions change in seconds so be ready for them.
10. Have fun! Keep the photos fun and light. If you get frustrated or baby is not having a good day, put the camera away and try again another day.
Tara McGlinchey is a professional photographer specializing in photography of babies, children and families in New Jersey and New York. She is the owner and photographer at Tara McGlinchey Photography since 2005.