Every parent is a natural photographer capturing cute moments and here are 5 tips to jelp you take better pictures of your kids.
Photographing children is a lot of fun but also hard work; especially with the younger ones who always seem to have better things to do than hang around for mummy to get her shot just right. As parents, we love to document every moment of our little angels’ lives and most of us cannot have a professional photographer on standby 24/7 – #lifegoals.
Here are some tips on how to elevate the images of your little one from a humble snapshot to an interesting and beautiful portrait worthy of its own space on your living room wall.
1) Find “Good” Light
Lighting is everything!!! Great light can transform a simple image from a blah phone picture to a beautiful portrait if you know what to look for; and it really doesn’t get much simpler than daylight, which I like to call God’s perfect light.
If you are shooting inside, there is nothing more beautiful than diffused window light – in plain English, if it’s bright enough inside, then just put your little person by the window with the transparent blinds drawn and this gives you a beautiful soft light to play with. If you prefer to be outside, head out on an overcast day or find a shady patch on a sunny day and let the magic happen.
2) Never Say Cheese
Now we all have those pictures of our little ones with the forced smiles, aka grimaces, because an adult has asked them to “smile for the camera”. However, if you want a smiling or laughing picture – you have to entertain them and make them laugh. As the parent you have the added advantage of knowing exactly what makes them happy. If you want that awesome image, you are going to have to earn it.
3) Use Props
The right prop is always a great addition to an image as it gives the child something to do. Give them something they like, e.g. a book, a favourite toy and if all fails – a snack. Yes, sometimes bribery is necessary and completely acceptable in the name of art. Other great props include baskets or chairs, which have the added bonus of keeping them still (if only for a few minutes).
4) Shoot From Every Angle
A lot of pictures are taken from above; the adult’s viewpoint. I recommend that for a more engaging portrait, come down to the child’s level and see the world from their point of view. Once you’ve done that, shoot from every angle and position, up top, down below, from the side etc. Don’t forget to focus on different parts of the body too; not just those cute little faces.
5) Let Kids Be Kids
Photo sessions should be fun and it’s important to give kids their space to be themselves. During family sessions after the pre-requisite traditional family portrait, I let the kids loose to do what they do best. I allow them to jump, play and basically be themselves which shows you their true personality and is truly heartwarming.
Ok – these are just a few tips to get you started to create magic. Feel free to tag @waniolatundeportraits on Instagram so I can see how these tips are upping your mama-tog game. 🙂
Wani is the owner of Lagos based wedding and portrait photography boutique, Wani Olatunde Photography. She’s been married for 8 years and has 2 little men. In her downtime, you’ll find her dancing to music (sometimes imaginary) with her 2 favourite people in the world. Or catching up on her latest Shonda Rhimes drama. If you have any questions or would simply like to stay in touch with Wani and get more tips on photographing your kids, please drop her an email at [email protected] and she’ll be more than happy to answer your questions and get you signed up to her exclusive Family Portraits email newsletter.