This is a collaborative post
The summer holidays! The time to make memories and hopefully capture a couple in the process. If photographing your children on your summer adventures fills you with dread then hopefully this post can help you snap better photos while out and about. Whether you just have your phone camera or you’ve invested in a proper DSLR there is always something to learn. And let’s be honest, children don’t sit still for long, so you need to be prepared. Do you know how to change the shutter speed? What’s the best angle? How to use lighting to your advantage?
I always knew I would love photography yet for some reason it took me expecting a child before investing in my first proper camera. I wanted to make sure I could capture gorgeous photos of him and keep his childhood alive forever. When he entered the world back in 2015 I had never imagined that getting that camera would lead to me now working as a professional photographer only a few years later. I specialise in family photography but I by far enjoy shooting children to anything else. It’s not easy but they are so much more natural on camera…. if you let them! In my book natural and relaxed photos are the best.
DON’T PUT YOUR CAMERA DOWN
Pointing a camera and commanding your children say cheese will seldom yield great photos. Instead, try and capture them in a natural setting while their attention is focused on something else. These are in my book the most real and will truly reflect what they were doing in that moment. If you have patience you’ll capture the happy, the sad and all the adventures. Although no one wants to be behind a camera all the time, so set aside an amount of time where you take photographs and if you don’t happen to have your camera out at the most special moment it in turns means you lived it and hopefully it will live on in your heart and memory forever.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE SMILE
As I said getting your children (or adults for that matter) to shout cheese just makes their faces screwed up and their eyes squint. Good photos are more than just catching a smile. While a smiley face is wonderful to look at, a true moment caught on camera can be just as beautiful.
GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL
I see a lot of parents taking photos from their perspective. From above. Tops of heads and screwed angles can result in very plain looking photos as there is no dept of field. Get down on your child’s level and shoot straight at them. It often creates that blurry looking background and makes the little ones stand out.
HOW TO USE THE GOLDEN HOUR FOR THE MOST FLATTERING LIGHT
The best light to shoot in is called the golden hour. It’s slightly misleading as it actually occurs twice a day. Once just after sunrise and then again in the afternoon/early evening before the sun sets. You can google when the golden hour takes place. Despite children often being up at dawn it’s definitely more comfortable to shoot in the afternoon (naps depending of course).
BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR SHOTS
Many people have been told to never shoot into the sun. Yet, you can create the most amazing photos by using the settings on your camera correctly. While I love a silhouette you can still create clear photos by changing your metering mode to ‘Spot’. Spot metering means that your camera will expose whatever is in the centre of the shot, rather than the whole photo. This will produce an overexposed background yet that’s part of the effect of shooting into the sun.
If you are at the beach or in the woods then use natural objects like a stone with a hole in it or an old hollow tree trunk to shoot through to create fun images with a difference.
Lastly, don’t stress. Taking pictures and capturing these precious moments are meant to be fun.
Here you can find more of my photography work.