If you are a parent and a budding photographer, you are fortunate enough to have one of the world’s most delightful and most photographic of all subject matters readily available – kids!
Children make for unique and interesting snaps and with a little skill and a lot of patience, parents will be able to capture the changes in their kids (that seem to occur daily) and they will have a vivid memory of each and every special moment!
Tips on how to photograph like a professional
- Know your subject – babies are probably one of the easiest subjects to photograph! If you are a creative thinker, use props in baby photographs, but avoid going overboard and remember that the infant should ideally be the focal point in the photograph. Look for ideas on the Internet or visit the Ann Geddes website for some truly inspirational ideas. From the age of one, kids will be attracted to the lens of the camera and they will eagerly strike poses with little effort and contentedly agree to the planned photo shoot. From the age of two however, children tend to become a lot more challenging and moms and dads may have to run around trying to -capture’ their kids before a photo shoot can begin. At this age, informal and unplanned shoots are often the best choice, so be sure to have your camera handy and try to capture the little guys without their knowledge. Most parents find that the impromptu and natural shoots often yield the most amazing still life photographs.
- Make it fun – at the end of the day, a toddler wants to have fun and they are not too interested in the fact that their parents are trying to create everlasting memories with photography. To keep kids interested, make the shoot as fun as possible. Pull out all the stops and bring out colourful balls, blocks, feathers, toys, and hats – even use the family pet. Bubbles are a wonderful way to keep kids entertained, and their expressions as they watch or try to catch the floating bubbles are priceless. If you have a leafy tree in your garden, use it as a natural background for the shot, or visit a local park. Not only will kids enjoy the outing, but a park will provide an endless array of fun and useful props and backdrops! Bear in mind that a cranky or tired child is not going to play nice and as such, kids need to be well rested and well fed before even attempting to photograph them. If you are planning a park shoot, take a fresh change of clothing and wet-wipes, as well as snacks and drinks to keep energy levels up!
- Plan the shoot but expect the unforeseen – children are known for their limited attention span and within a few minutes, their attention will be drawn to something else. If this happens, stop shooting and walk away for a moment – remember that impromptu shots make for the most appealing of all photographs, so don’t worry too much about what your subject is doing or that things are not going according to your specific plan! Just let the child be themselves and enjoy each moment. In terms of planning, all the photographer needs to do is have their equipment within easy reach and shoot the unexpected. Timing is everything in photography; a split second is all that’s needed to capture those wonderful, unplanned poses – or the wide-eyed wonder of a child! Be ready at a split second’s notice.
- Position and angle – when photographing little ones you are going to need to go down to their level. Be prepared to do a lot of kneeling, crouching and crawling. Not only is the photographer expected to get dirty when photographing kids, but they will have to follow the child’s lead!
- You don’t need to have the latest, most expensive equipment – if you are a budding photographer, you will be able to get away with a standard digital camera that allows the user to zoom, pan, etc. These cameras are very easy to operate and probably the best equipment to have around the home when photographing busy and active kids.
- If you’re blessed with twins or triplets and you have a love for photography, you’ll quickly discover that multiples make for the most captivating of photos. You probably won’t have the energy to plan a photo shoot but capturing twins or higher multiples at play or together is all that’s needed for a fascinating image.
- Fun, fun, fun – Your goal may be to produce the most incredible still life photographs of your child, but you are not a photographic journalist, nor are you shooting for National Geographic – so relax, have fun and enjoy the precious moments. If your child does not want to -play ball’ – try again the next day or wait a few hours! Besides planning a day shooting, keep your camera within easy reach around the home, and capture your child in their regular environment. Snap up images of your toddler interacting with the family cat, climbing a tree, playing hide and seek or even sleeping.
Make the most your precious memories!
With most people owning digital cameras, the best way to display these digital shots is with a nifty digital photo frame. When using a memory card, the frames are able to display hundreds of photographs and the images can be uploaded and changed as and when needed. These digital frames are not very costly and they are the perfect gift choice for the working mom or dad – a continual stream of images of their precious child.
Block mounting the most eye-catching photographs is another great way to show off your talents and show off your gorgeous child. Block mounting is offered by most camera stores and the cost to have a block mount varies from R399 upwards. Shop around to find the best deal.
Not much can take the place of the traditional framed photograph. Framed photos of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters are the most thoughtful gifts and will be forever treasured by recipients.
The advantage of digital photography is that the photograph can be edited, which means that images can be grouped together and a collage can be printed with ease.