How to take better photos of your kids

Enhance Your Photography Skills: Tips and Tricks to Capture Genuine Moments with Your Kids

how to take better photos of your kids, photo of a two toddlers on a bench reading

It's no secret I'm very much about encouraging parents like you to take more photos of your children. I tend to bang on about it on Instagram stories quite regularly: Take MORE photos, pull out your camera while you're doing normal things, get in the frame!

Some of the biggest hurdles to taking photos of your kids

  • You always forget to have your camera out OR you don't feel like your phone is up to the task.
  • You feel like things need to look a certain way - your house be clean, your child in designer clothes, your kids behaving not like an insane being who's had a little too much TV (We've all been there - especially post pandemic, please tell me I'm not the only one who hasn't quite regained control.)
  • You don't think your images are any good - fake smiles, that weird camera face...
  • You never do anything with the photos anyway, they'll be stuck in amongst the selfies forever.

You always forget to have your camera out or you don't feel like your phone is up to the task.

This is a habit thing mostly. Alas no quick fix. Leave your camera within sight. Pick ONE day a week you force yourself to have your camera on you. Take one photo a week - I've done this as a regular practise for many years. There's a fantastic little book on Habit forming by Gretchen Reuben.

If you have the means, invest in something smaller (google mirrorless cameras) if it's smaller it's much more likely to come with you.

If you have a fairly up to date phone then you're half way there. Your iphone (or phone) is a great camera! Best tip here is to clean your phone lens. Tap the screen where you want to focus. Turn faces towards the light.

Why is this important? If your camera is out ALL the time your kids will soon learn to ignore it's presence. They will stop (or at least do it less) posing and faking things making easier to sneak a shot of a genuine moment.

You feel like things need to look a certain way.

We're pretty conditioned these days that things should look a certain way. I can almost guarantee that behind every beautifully curated instagram playroom is a messy pile of the stuff they moved to get the photo. You know this in your gut. Real life involves washing piles and mixed up toys. It involves mismatched clothing or your kid ripping off the cute pinafore in favour of the Elsa tutu. SO what! Shoot it. Photograph your everyday. You can make the time to do 'fancier photos' but in the gaps of life, keep observing and embracing the real stuff. Some of my favourite family images are from session are when things fell apart a little, someone started climbing or crying and the beauty in not shying away from capturing these moments is the truth telling you are doing and the memories you are preserving for the future.

You don't think your images are any good.

Guess what. Mine weren't when I started. I made a million mistakes. I still often take terrible phone photos - often the moment outweighs the perfect conditions. The only way to take better photos of your kids is to start now. Take a photo and then when you take your next photo - try make it a little better. Incremental change is super powerful. I still print my phone photos. They're nothing close to the quality of my 'good camera' and because I am lazy with it they're often pretty average but they still ring true with moment and memory and that gives them value.

What's the point? You never do anything with the photos anyway.

It's tough to print. It's tough to back up your phone. Waiting for school pickup? Use the dead time to look up your photos album in your phone - delete anything that needs to go - that'll help with keeping the excess down when you go to pick images to print. Plug your phone in today and pull those images off or make sure they're sync'ing up to a cloud. Use tools that make printing easy - they're are always new apps that can help automate the process and pull the images straight from your Instagram feed or direct from your camera roll on your phone. I love Artifact Uprising mini books for my phone photos. Turn them into magnets, a calendar for your mum or postcards.

I want practical tips to take better, more genuine photos of my kids.

You can start this today:

  • Turn faces towards the light (eg. don't shoot with the light behind you until you know a bit more about how to make that work)
  • Get close to windows (Pro-tip: turn off your overhead lights)
  • Get down on your child's level (Change your view point)
  • Try taking the same photo far away, then closer and then closer again, find a scene, then a portrait, then a detail.
  • Practise, practise.

If you're after a great course you can sign up to Mamatography's Beginner Photography Masterclass - use the code MAMABEC for a $50 discount.

I've also recorded a podcast episode with Mamatography about this very topic- you can have a listen here to: Tips and trips for snappin' your own kids.

And if you want to be in some photos too you can always book a shoot with me (and you're welcome to pick my brains while you're at it! Bonus!).

Take a photo of your kids today. Please.

x Bec

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