5 Tips for Better Photography of Your Kids

Every photographer takes family photos.  For hobbyist photographers, that’s probably what you photograph more than anything else.  Here's a post on how to improve your photos of the kids.

1. Stop asking the kids to look at the camera and smile
The best tip for photographing kids is to take them to the park, put on the longest lens you have, use a low aperture for shallow depth-of-field, and shoot away.  No posing required.

2. Snap the photo as soon as you see some expression
Kids are fun to watch because they react to ordinary things with extreme reactions.  Unfortunately, you'll see too many family photos where the parents wait for the kid to smile before taking a photo.  It’s not all about smiles.  Sometimes a look of disgust, fear, silliness, or excitement will make a better expression than a bland smile.

3. Always, always, always shoot a burst of at least 3 shots
Like shooting sports, one instant to the next will change the photo drastically.  Also, shooting in bursts of three shots will allow you to put the photos together in a series.

4. When shooting inside the house, use window light
Give the little kids a few toys and face them toward the largest window in your house.  Sit to the side of the window and shoot away.  The beautiful soft light will make for a great portrait even in a common location.  

5. Clean up your backgrounds
Since the best photos you’ll take of your kids are likely going to be candids, you will run into the problem of having distracting backgrounds.  If you want to take photos of the kids playing in the living room, make sure to clean up the room first.  When taking photos of the kids playing at the park, change your angle to get the trash can out of the background.  You get the idea.  Watch for the backgrounds or your photos will be distracting.

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