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 three bite size chapters for any budding photographers, or if you just want to capture your times together a little more!
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. We 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, we 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, we hope these few pointers will help you.
LET KIDS BE KIDS
WIDE SMILES, wind tangled hair, muddy fingers, sandy toes - for us, we love to capture the essence of childhood. We find that when kids are engaged in an activity & enjoying something they're doing, they forget about us and the camera and for us, that's when we capture the best shots. Photos that reflect character and personalities.
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!
LET THERE BE LIGHT
If me and Suzi had a choice, we 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, we do often come across those dull overcast days, and we don’t mind shooting in these at all.
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.
But if it is raining again - window light can provide lots of atmosphere in a shot. It's best to turn off interior lights.
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.
We hope you've found this first post helpful. In the next one (which we'll publish at the weekend), we'll have a look at composition, points of view and perspective.
If you'd like to take your photography further, we are running our second Capturing Childhood Retreat on Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September here in Hebden Bridge. 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 have just two places left for the weekend. If you'd like to find out more, and book your place, there's a link to the Capturing Childhood Retreat page here.
We hope you have a lovely week, and if you'd like to share any photos you take, we'd love to see them!