Tips for Taking Canvas-Quality Photos of your Children

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I can’t help myself: I have two very photogenic kids, and I absolutely love taking photos of them. I am only too happy to share, which means that I often have readers and friends ask me how I manage to get such great pictures of them. Well, aside from good old trial and error, there are a couple of tips I keep in mind whenever I’m shooting them to ensure the best possible results. Results that are good enough not just to share online, but good enough that you’ll want to find a personalized canvas printing company to create larger-scale art for your home.

1. Be Prepared to Take Lots of Pictures

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Kids move, and squirm and cry and climb things and otherwise do things you’d prefer they not do when you’re trying to shoot photos. This can get really frustrating for both Video Production Singapore and subject really quickly if you aren’t prepared. So go into any shoot with kids knowing that you’ll probably need to shoot 100-200 photos to get 10-20 great ones to choose from.

In other words, to get a photo like the one above, I often have to go through a bunch that look a lot like this:

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Related post: How to make canvas prints for your home?

The point: Just keep shooting.

2. Don’t Make Them Pose

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Most of the best photos I’ve taken of my children have been ones where they’re allowed to just be. Instead of trying to stop my toddler from running around the room, I catch photos of her on the run. I let her push boxes across the room or climb up on the sofa or pick up her favorite stuffed animal. I shoot my older daughter doing gymnastics in the living room or out in the driveway, or acting silly with her dad. The result is photos that are natural and real, rather than staged.

This is not to suggest that posing doesn’t work sometimes. But instead of stopping the action to let them get in position for a photo, just take pictures of the action.

3. Get Down on Their Level

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Part of what makes the photos I take of my kids work is that I have no problem getting down on the floor with them. When I stand over them and take top-down shots, the result isn’t terrible, but it feels a little impersonal. When I get down on my knees or sit on the floor and meet them at eye-level — particularly baby Juliza — the photos feel more intimate and real.

4. Use Natural Light

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This can be a tough one if you shoot a lot of photos at home, but most of us know which spots in our homes get the best light at certain times of day. Juliza’s room gets great light pretty much all day, which is why I shoot so many photos of her there. But our master bedroom and dining room get good light sometimes too, so I just try to pay attention to that when I’m going to shoot.

Natural light will almost always make for better photos than any lamps or overhead lighting in your home. If you’re fortunate enough to have a pro (or even semi-pro) lighting setup with screens and filters, you have better control over when you shoot, but I find that my kids look best when the lighting isn’t forced. Sometimes, that means pulling up the blinds and tying back the curtains for a bit to maximize sunlight.

5. Use your smartphone camera

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Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love my fancy Nikon camera, and I shoot with it often. But some of the best images I’ve shot of my kids have been candids that I shot with my smartphone. For example, the day Juliza was born, my husband took some shots with the DSLR, but the photos that I most treasure and that I have shared most often are the snapshots that my family took with our phones.

Smartphone cameras have come a long way, and many are very capable of producing high-quality images. Plus, we tend to take them everywhere with us — like the park and birthday parties — when we may want to leave a bulkier camera at home.

6. Don’t be afraid to edit

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I’m one of those people who takes photo composition really seriously in-camera. So I crop before I take the photo to save myself the trouble of doing it later. But even if your composition could use a little work, don’t be a afraid to use the photo editing program on your computer, or even on your phone. Trying a different crop, a softer filter, or even switching to black & white or sepia tones can take a mediocre picture and make it great.

What about you? How do you capture great shots of your children? Feel free to share your own tips in the comments below!

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one response
  • jen October 3, 2015, 8:15 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I always try to get my baby to pose.

    Reply

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