Most of the time, if your child is like mine, he's running around outside while you're trying to capture a good picture of him. Here are some easy things to consider and keep in mind to get better pictures of your cuties. This doesn't guarantee non-blurry action shots (that's another post!), but it should help you get out of the cheesy-smile rut, and deliver some sincere, cute pictures of your kiddo.
TIP) Check Your Background. Are there lots of things around, will your kid still be the focus, or will the eye go to someplace else? Maybe just turn around and see if there is another direction you can face. This was facing our house. You can see our deck, the shed, and all sorts of things in the background. My kiddo is kind of lost in everything else going on in the picture. I just looked to another part of our yard instead for pictures.
TIP) Shake The Sillies Out. Let your kids be silly! You get some pretty awesome personality shots. Plus, it takes the pressure off of them performing for you, and it takes the edge off of you that they're not looking at the camera, making faces, or whatever. I told my kiddo to make the scariest and silliest faces he could for me, and this is what I got.
TIP) Get Out Of The Sun. Like turning off the overhead light, having the full sun overhead is not your best friend when taking pictures. It creates harsh shadows on your kid, they'll be squinting in the sun, and you get black pits as eyes. You want to find something called "open shade", which is basically like a big, shady spot. Good ideas are under a tree, a covered porch, inside your garage, your back deck, your front doorstep. Here is my open shade. It's the underneath area of my kids' tree house. It's not a very big space.
Here is my kiddo close up in the exact same spot. Notice how sweet he looks?
TIP) Play Games with Your Child. My kids LOVE peek a boo, and hide-and-go-seek. I get the best expressions from these games, especially if they think they are "fooling" me. Where'd he go?
Oh, there he is!
TIP) Above all, let it be fun for both of you. You want your child's personality to shine through. My funny boy in all his moods.
A Quick Overview:
- Check your background to make sure it isn't overwhelming your child (your main focus)
- Let your kiddo shake their sillies out in front of the camera. Takes the pressure off both you and them.
- Don't shoot in full sun
- Find open shade
- Play games with them
- Let the child have fun, and their personalities will shine through