How to take more professional looking pictures of your children with your digital camera or smartphone.
Theres a few main points that will help you take better photos of your children and I am going to share them with you today. Everyone loves taking pictures of their children, I for one don't stop taking pictures of my kids. If you have a smartphone then you have no excuse to not be taking photos of your children daily, weekly, monthly or whatever. Having pictures whether you print them or not ( which I suggest you do ) is one of the easiest ways to remember what your little ones used to look like when they were small and believe me as the father of two children I know how long they stay small and its not long. So here I will share with you a few main pointers that will help you take better images of your kids.
Use the two thirds rule
So using the rule of thirds is a simple enough idea basically you want to have the important part of your image in a cross of the lines if you split your image up into thirds. Compose your image and then think is the child's eyes into one third of the picture. Most people point their camera with their child in the center and then take the picture, but as human beings we find this awkward to look at. Naturally things look more beautiful when they are taken with the rule of thirds. As you can see with the image to the left I have split it into thirds and I made sure that his eye was in the top right third line crossing part, this made for a much more natural image and it helps draw you into the image and also tells you what to be looking at as our eye's will naturally be drawn to these parts of an image. Next time your watching tv spend a second to see how they compose the camera angle and you'll find it's pretty much the same.
Get in close
Getting in close is very important for many reasons, for example with this picture of my son I don't really want the viewer of this image to see he was sat on a bench in my garden on my patio. I just want someone looking at this image to see my son and his interest in his yoghurt pot, so I have got in nice and close so you can only see what he's up to. A great photographer said if your image isn't looking right then you're probably not close enough, well something to the same vain anyways. So here in this picture I have gotten in nice and close to my son and its helped blurred the background so it separates him in the picture and lets you focus entirely on him.
Try not to pose them
Now when it comes to children's photographs most people say ahh yeah you know when you shove them on a stool in front of a white background and get them to try and smile at you. This nearly always leads to fake smiles and stupid faces that just look forced and unnatural. Instead why don't you follow your little one around for awhile and try and do something funny to get them giggling or even better capture your two children together (if you have two) and catch them when they are laughing at each other or something. This will nearly always lead to a better image and you will find you get much better results that way.
Use an app with filters
Instagram seems to be the go to app for picture editing these days and its easy to share your new creations on facebook etc. Also instagram is free so try it out! There is a load of other apps out there of course that can help you edit your images, some of them even to a semi professional degree. People like the filters on these apps and they soon make your little snapshot a bit more personal and you can show off your new found photography skills to all your friends and family by sharing it with them.
Get good light
Now light is of more importance than you might think. When taking a photograph you are basically capturing photons or light. So when you're in good light your camera sensor on your phone or that little point and shoot or iphone or whatever, can take much better images. Camera phones tend to not work so well in low light and you will end up getting grainy images or blurry ones. To avoid this happening try to get a good amount of light on your little ones by either getting them to play by a big window or letting them play outside. This is a surefire way to help your images come out much sharper and cleaner than if you're in the pitch black in their bedroom at night for example. As you can see this image of my son zoned out into the television is taken with him sat on the sofa near the window to the right and its lit him up beautifully.
Then once you get overly fond of taking pictures of your little ones you may end up finding a love for photography and think about upgrading your camera. There are some amazing little cameras out there these days that will help you make those professional looking images of your children without breaking your bank. Some of fuji's cameras even come with interchangeable lenses and don't cost the earth either and are great for hobbyist.
So if you find yourself taking pictures all the time of your little ones and you just want to make them that little bit more professional looking follow the few tips I have above and it will help your images stand out to your friends and you can be proud of watching your little ones grow with some images that can really tell a story and show them in better light. Hopefully this little tutorial has helped you think a little more about your images if you do however want a photographer for this kind of thing then don't hesitate to look at getting your local photographer involved and tell him what you're looking for rather than your average studio shoot.