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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tips on Taking Photos of Your Children - Contributor Post

The lovely Alex Nguyen has agreed to share some of her expertise, usually on Alex Nguyen Portraits, with us today! Taking pictures of your kids can be tough, especially if you suck with a camera as much as I do. Here's what she says!

Most people assume that you need a fancy camera, or lots of equipment, or intimate knowledge with the words "f stop" and "shutter speed" in order to get that perfect shot of their kids. I'm here to tell that while all that stuff is awesome and groovy, it's not at all needed. You can get that great shot of your kid with your point and shoot camera, and this post is to give you some tips on how to achieve some of that. First of all, all the following pictures are done indoors, near a large window. I set up near our slider, with my kid facing me and the window. You don't have to have a floor length window, any largish window will suffice.

This is my actual dining room. I just pushed table back, and plopped my kiddo in front. Note that it is not a large space, and I have no additional or special photo equipment.



 Also, TURN OFF ANY OVERHEAD LIGHTS OR LAMPS. They will cast an odd, yellowish light on your pictures. If you have a nice, largish window, you won't need additional light on your child.

See this? I call this "Cheesy Four Year Old" smile. This is what you get when you tell your child to "say cheese". You get, a cheese smile. Stiff, unnatural, and while cute, definitely not "him".



 Next, get down at your child's level. Sit down with them if you can. Engage them in some conversation. Don't be afraid to be silly.



 Don't get stuck in the rut of always taking a horizontal picture. Mix it up, and take vertical pictures (up and down pictures) as well.



Don't get fixated on taking the picture smiley picture. Get pictures of their silly faces. Of them playing with a favorite toy, or just being contemplative. If your child is normally serene, capture that.



Don't be afraid to capture the silly moments, sometimes they are the best pictures.



Get close to your child, and fill up your viewfinder with their sweet face.



A quick overview:

  • for shooting indoors, set your child near a window
  • turn off any overhead lights
  • get down to their level (sit down! )
  • don't say cheese
  • don't be afraid to fill up the viewfinder with your child's face
  • remember to take vertical pictures, as well as horizontal pictures
  • get your child to talk to you
  • let your child play
  • take lots of pictures, one of them will turn out
  • don't get stuck on getting the perfect pictures or perfect smile. concentrate on just getting your child comfortable in front of the camera, and watch the magic happen.
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