TATT: Capturing Kiddos

No, today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday isn’t about grabbing a defiant two year old who would rather run headlong into the street than come inside for dinner, as the title might lead you to think. (But not because I don’t have such a two year old.) Instead, I’d like to spend today’s post talking about capturing kids in photographs.

Now, I’m not an expert on this topic, by any means. But I have learned a lot in the last four years since Alethea was born. In fact, sometimes I look back at those early days of her life and wish I’d had more photography experience before she came along. I’m sure the photos I took back then could have been better.

Well, there’s no turning back the clock, but moving forward, here are some things that I plan to keep on doing…

TIP #1: Take it Outside
The more photos I take, the more I conclude that lighting truly is everything. It’s next to impossible (at least for me) to take a really wonderful photo in poor lighting. Therefore, my favorite place to shoot is in the great outdoors, preferably on a cloudy day when we have a nice even light with no distracting shadows.

Here is Alethea. I was outside on just such a day, taking some flower photos when she said, “Mommy, take some of me!” So I pointed the camera in her direction and *snap*. Very cute, nice even lighting too. But just a bit of a “cheese smile”.

TIP #2: Give Your Kiddo a Task
Hug your sister, jump up and down, wave to me… directions like these always seem to help me get more natural expressions from the girls. In this case I tried, “Smell the flowers!”

Well, more natural, but I really wanted to capture her face. So I tried, “Smell the flowers, but look at me.”

Hmmm… not quite there…

TIP #3: Keep Clicking!
For every picture that I truly love, I take dozens of ones that aren’t nearly as great. Like when a leaf gets awkwardly in the way…

And gets in the way again…

Time to combine tricks two and three… give a new direction and just keep clicking away! Alethea, can you hide in the flowers?

Almost there, and then suddenly, the money shot…

I love everything about this one, the soft lighting, the half-smile on her face, the flowers around the edge. Love it, love it, love it!

So there you go, my best tricks for taking kid pics: go outside, give them something to do, and then keep clicking away!

How about you guys? What are your favorite photos of that you’ve taken of your kids (or grandkids, nieces and nephews)? And how did you get them? I want to know!

2 thoughts on “TATT: Capturing Kiddos

  1. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I like the “almost there” pic of Alethea better. The last two shots are both wonderful. Now take Lydia out & check your techniques on her.

    • Thanks! Yeah, I like the “almost there” picture quite a bit too. And I do try to give the girls equal camera time, but in this case Lydia was taking a nap and so missed out on the entire shoot.

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