Monday, February 11, 2013

5 ways to get better pictures of your kids

I've always loved looking at photographs, and since I was old enough to have my own camera, I've loved taking them too.  Since becoming a mama, my love for capturing moments on camera has grown even more.  I just want to remember every little thing about my baby as he grows, and so I take hundreds of pictures of him every week (and often I wish I took even more than I already do). But there are many times when I've been disappointed with how my pictures turned out - I felt like they failed to capture the moments as I remember them.  As a result I've spent the last couple of months trying to figure out how to take the best possible pictures possible. Anyway I thought it might be a good idea to share what I've learned so far, I hope my tips are helpful!

1.  Pull it Out -  We've all had them, those moments where you look up from what ever you're busy doing to see your child being completely adorable, surprisingly sweet, or breathtakingly bad (in a cute way) and think, "I should take a picture..."  The only problem?  Your camera is tucked away somewhere and little Billy moves on to doing something else, and the opportunity slips away.  This was a problem I had last year during my first ever 366 photo project, and so I ended up with lots of poor-quality iPhone pictures when I had a DSLR sitting in a case somewhere collecting dust.  This year I made it one of the 'rules' of my 365 project that I would keep my camera out and with me at all times so that I wouldn't have an excuse not to use it.  That means it sits on our kitchen island all the time.  And yes it means I bring it in my diaper bag whenever I leave the house.  Sometimes it seems like a hassle to drag it along with me, but I'm always so happy to have it with me when one of those magic moments presents itself.

2.  Just One More -  Even if you think you've taken enough pictures or gotten that perfect shot, don't put your camera away.  Always take more pictures than you think you need to!  You can always delete extras, but you can't go back and take more pictures if the one you thought was perfect turns out to be blurry.  Sometimes I'll take 100 pictures and keep only 9 or 10!

3.  Point of View - How you set up your shot often makes the difference between them being boring or beautiful.  To get better pictures of kids, you just have to be creative!  Children are much smaller than adults, so it makes sense that you can often get the best pictures when you get down on their level.  I'm always down on the floor taking pictures of Riggs, often laying on my stomach or side, just to get the perfect shot.

I also like to take pictures from straight above Riggs, even if it means I have to climb on a chair to take it.  It's how we see them most of the time, especially when they're little, so why not take pictures of them from that same perspective?

You can also get behind them, beside them, below them - just try every possible angle out and you'll be surprised at how great the results are!

4.  Don't be a Poser - I'll admit, sometimes I do pose Riggs to get just the picture I'm looking for.  But 95% of the time I try to take pictures of him just being himself.  He doesn't need to be smiling or even looking at the camera for me to get a great picture.  With older kids, you can often turn what is suppose to be a happy moment into a stressful one when you try to force them to pose for the camera.  Look back at your family pictures and I bet you'll find that the candid ones are actually your favorites.

5. Get Closer - It's very common to take all pictures from far away to get everything you possibly can in one photograph.  But resist the urge to get your child's entire body in each picture.  Instead, get close up and get gorgeous pictures of those little bits that you love so much.


  1. These are such great tips! The last one especially I was reading a photography guide with the same tip fill the frame, if its not part if the story don't include it. Oh and I loved that picture of Riggy looking out at Steve, too cute!

  2. Love these tips. I'm always taking a million pictures of Mason and trying new angles too. I'm in a photography class right now and the instructor asked everyone what they were primarily shooting--.. ahh.. my son? like. 24/7 my son. haha.

    I love the picture of Riggs's hands and the blueberries- precious!

  3. Nice job, Whitney! Your pictures are looking really good. (It helps to have such a cute subject, of course...)

  4. Great picture taking advice and I LOVE the outcome of better photos.