Capturing Childhood - Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids Part 2

Following on from Part 1 the other day which you can see here, this post is all about composition and creating depth in images. Hopefully these tips will make your photos pop, and help to capture the essence of your kids and their little characters!

COMPOSITION

It's not always easy to think about composition when your kids are racing around, but it does help your photos stand out. It's not always about positioning your subject in the middle of the frame looking right at you (although this can look great too), images can be wonderful with the subject positioned  to one side of the frame with lots of negative space.  

Yorkshire Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography

You can have a quick Google at the rule of thirds if you're not familiar with this one. I wouldn't sweat over it, but it sometimes helps. Also, look for natural frames, a frame within a frame.

Yorkshire Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography

POINT OF VIEW

One of the first things I say to folk when they ask for help with photographing kids, is to get down to the child’s level. I have what I call my photographer’s knee, all my jeans are slightly more worn on the right knee, as this is where I bend!

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

 

Or sometimes you’ll find me lying flat on the floor too. Try standing over your child too looking down. 

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

CREATE DEPTH

Sometimes images can look a bit flat, and don't quite turn out how we're seeing with our eye. One tip for this is to create some depth in your images, use lines like paths and trees to lead into your subject.  

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

You can also shoot through things too like grass and leaves, by having them in the foreground and your subject further away - this gives the image another dimension.

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

These tips are certainly not exhaustive, but I do hope they help in some way. In the next post we'll have a look at photographing details, movement, and finding your style.

And if you're interested in any of our training courses, please do let us know so we can put you on the mailing list. Our training page on our website will be going live very soon and we're just putting the finishing touches to the photography retreats we're going to be running in the not too distant future.

As always, if you'd like to share any of your photos - we'd love to see them, just send them to info@sarahmasonphotography.co.uk

Capturing Childhood - Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids Part 1

Last year, we were asked by the lovely folk at Canopy & Stars to write a blog about how to take better photos of your kids. We wanted to expand on it this summer as many of you will be spending more time with your littles over the holidays. We thought we'd split it up into 3 bite size chapters for any budding photographers, or if you just want to capture your times together a little more!

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

Over the next posts, we'll look at things that will help make your photos pop! Hopefully some of these tips will help you take better photographs, whether you're using your phone or an SLR.

The TECHNICAL STUFF

Let's talk about the technical stuff first.  I don't want to clog this post up with too many things about the ins and outs of your camera, but it’s good to get chatting about it. If you do have a DSLR, I would absolutely encourage you to try shooting manually, if you haven’t done so already, and take that dial out of Auto. It feels so good to be in charge of your camera, rather than the other way around. There will be a lot of trial and error, some tuts and exasperated hair pulling moments, but it really is worth it in the end! I am pretty much a self taught photographer, and when I was learning, I just took my camera everywhere so I could try photography in all different situations. Family and friends may roll their eyes at you (or maybe that was just my lot!), as you ask them again to stop while you experiment with your settings, but just stick with it. If you don’t have a DSLR, you can still take amazing photographs.  Many people are documenting their life with their phone photography, just take a look at Instagram, there are some wonderful accounts to follow. Whatever you are shooting with, I hope these few pointers will help you. 

LET KIDS BE KIDS

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

WIDE SMILES, wind tangled hair, muddy fingers, sandy toes - for me, I love to capture the essence of childhood. I find that when kids are engaged in an activity & enjoying something they're doing, they forget about me and the camera and for me, that's when I capture the best shots.  Photos that reflect character and personalities.

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

Photography is storytelling, documenting daily life. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion to get your camera out, maybe a trip to the market, your favourite walk, feeding the ducks, or those morning rituals!

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

LET THERE BE LIGHT

If I had a choice, I would probably choose to shoot in the golden hours permanently. Those times just after sunrise, or just before sunset. Of course it’s not always practical, but give it a try if you can, you will really see a difference. Sometimes we’ll battle with the harsh overhead sunlight that midday can bring. Living in the Pennies though, I do often come across those dull overcast days, and I don’t mind shooting in these at all.

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

If it's absolutely bucketing down, it’s probably not going to be too much fun for anyone, but try getting out just after the rain – the light can be lovely.

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

WINDOW LIGHT

But if it is raining again - window light can provide lots of atmosphere in a shot. It's best to turn off interior lights.

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

LOOK FOR MOMENTS

In this digital age, it's easy to keep clicking away in the hope you're going to get a few decent shots, I definitely used to be like this. When you are manically clicking away, you can miss those beautiful moments though. So maybe try and slow it down a bit, and wait for those moments that give you the feels.

Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire
Portrait Photography Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

I hope you've found this first post helpful. In the next one (which I'll publish early next week), we'll have a look at composition, points of view and perspective.

If you'd like to take your photography further, we do run 1-2-1 training sessions and mentorship programmes. We are also preparing for a number of photography retreats here in Hebden Bridge. We've just found the perfect venue this week, and we're really excited about running them! As part of the retreat schedule, we were wondering if anyone would be interested in one dedicated to Capturing Childhood? This could be for someone about to set up their own portrait photography business, or for people who would like to take better photos of their families and friends. We'd love to hear from you as we're just putting the programme of retreats together. Just email info@sarahmasonphotography.co.uk.

We hope you have a lovely weekend, and if you'd like to share any photos you take, we'd love to see them!