Taking the perfect photo
Getting the perfect photo
Kids grow up so fast, and photographs do a great job in capturing moments, and also providing much loved gifts for the extended family.
Here are some tips on how to get great photographs:
• Let them see you, not the camera
Depending on the camera you are using, the smaller the better! Having a large camera attached to your face is often very intimidating to kids, so be sure be look as ‘normal’ as possible. If you do have a larger camera with changeable lenses, a longer (or more zoomed) lens will be able to get great candid shots of kids, as you will be able to stand further away and not be as intimidating. A longer lens will also often give that effect where the background is all blurred out, but subject (your kids) are still in focus.
Getting kids to do something, like playing a game, climbing a tree, building a sand castle, or piggy backing gets their focus off you, and it also brings out real smiles and laughs. Once they are getting busy, you can snap away and get great candid shots, as well as calling their name to get their attention, and get that shot of them looking at you, but still stuck in the ‘joy’ moment, not the fake smile they are so good at!
• Getting technical
If you are using a more advanced camera, or one that you can change the settings on, a faster shutter speed is best, nothing below about 120/1 (120th of a second) or 160/1 (160th of a second) should be used, as if they are moving, the image will blur. If they are running around, stick to 250/1 to ensure you freeze the action and eliminate blur. Most cameras do this pretty well on automatic, but if you still find you are getting images that are blurry, change the setting to automatically use flash. Flash freezes motion.
• Fuel their curiosity
Showing kids the images you have taken gets them interacting with the camera, and makes it fun. The whole act of taking photographs then becomes something they are a part of and therefore more eager to play along.
• Get to their level
If you are uncomfortable, is usually means the photograph is going to be great! Lying on the floor, or crouching down brings the camera into their world. Eye contact with the camera is usually great and it makes for some really special moments and interesting compositions.
• Watch the background
So many times you take a great shot and there is a park dustbin or something equally distracting in the shot. The best idea in these cases is to choose your background, or a spot that is pleasing to the eye, then get them to sit there, or start playing there. Also make sure they don’t get lost in it- a lovely bright green patch of grass is going to hide them if they are also wearing a green, or a colour that disappears.
• Be creative- get close and get inventive!
Get in close, let your kids fill the viewfinder, after all, it’s those smiles you are after. Don’t be scared to play around, change your point of view, there are no rules!
The more photographs you take, the better you get! But don’t let the camera take over either. Remember that experiencing a moment with your kids is always more special that getting it on camera.
Image credit for non -watermarked photographs: