I’m often asked how I took personal images of my family. “What did you do to get them to look like that?” “How can I take them like you?” “Can you share your secret?” I often try to do mostly lifestyle when capturing my family, only because I love the candid, natural rawness I get from them. So I decided to compile some tips for shooting images of your children.
TIP #1 LET IN THE LIGHT!
Indoor light can be tricky, so open those curtains, even the door if you’d like to get some of that beautiful natural light inside! I try to engage them near a window if I can, otherwise place myself with my back turned towards the window without blocking it and watch the scene unfold. If you’re outside, do your best to hang near the shade during harsh mid-day sun, shoot in the early morning or late evening.
TIP #2 THOSE ANGLES THO
I always recommend getting down to your subject eye level and shooting straight on versus the natural go-to of many that stand and shoot downwards. Then, experiment with your angles. Shoot over their shoulder as they draw a picture, from behind to get the reaction of a sibling interaction, from above as they're reading a book capturing the details of their lashes and little fingers. Use plants or banisters to shoot through or frame your images. Perspective is everything.
TIP #3 IT’S IN THE DETAILS
Sometimes, the details are important in telling a story, or capturing the realness of your child. The pudgy knees of a new walker, tiny hands holding a crayon, that look a sibling gives, messy toes full of sand, or the way she twirls her hair when she’s tired. All of these moments are what we will treasure from their childhood.
TIP #4 SHOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Close ups are great for impact, but let’s not forget the environment as a whole. Pull back too so the surroundings can be showcased. Those are just as important in telling your story. Real life is messy, don’t let toys scattered about or a pile of laundry on the couch deter you. Tidy if you must, but certain clutter comes with having children in a house – a lovey on the floor, a blanket tossed on the couch, a favorite stuffy beside them – leave those! They are a part of your child’s life and will be beautiful reminders of who they used to be.
TIP #5 NO NEED TO LOOK
Remember, they don’t have to be looking to make an image beautiful. Some of my favorites are of them not looking towards the camera. Capture them playing with their favorite train set, reading a bedtime book quietly, eating a snack or while they nap. I have sometimes helped create moments by making them laugh with a joke or setting up a sprinkler and catching those moments. Encouraging them with their play, but not directing them.
TIP #6 BACKGROUNDS
Watch your backgrounds and shoot in a way that fits your style. Whether you want to be inside, at a park, forest, downtown or a field that calls to you. Think about how you will use these images – an album, print some out or hang some canvases.
TIP #7 BLURRED LINES
Sometimes capturing your family there is very limited light available and lit leads to a little motion blur. That’s ok, don’t discard it. Lifestyle sessions can have a little blurriness because of all the movement there is. A higher shutter can help you reduce that if the light allow you to.
Drop me a comment and let me know if these helped you capture your family’s special moments.