Taking Artful Photos of Your Children is Easier Than you Think

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The look in her eyes, the sweet smile on her lips, that look she gives me first thing in the morning…the memories of her sweet innocence.

I prayed for this child.  I love her from the bottom of my soul.  I want to bottle every memory and keep it in my pocket, but I know that’s impossible.

You have the power to take beautiful portraits of your children and as you will see it is less about your camera and more about what you can do to help set up the shot.

Copyright Kristina Dahl

Props help give them something to do, the seat helps keep them in one spot

I want to share with you what I have learned from the many years I have photographed other people’s children to the things I have learned from photographing my own.

Be Intentional.

As Moms, we grab our camera phones when we see our munchkins doing something we adore to try to freeze the moment.  The photos you take in these moments are snapshots of your life.  To get an artful photo, you need to be intentional about all of the elements in the photo, the outfit, the scenery, the time of day (lighting), the child’s mood, etc.  A little planning can make a significant difference in the result of an image.

Tip: Don’t over think this…it can be as simple as a better outfit and going to play at the park or in your backyard

Patience.

Think about your normal behavior when asking your child to take a photo?  Was it fun for them? Did you stand there pointing your camera at them and telling them to smile or there would be consequences? Did you get the outcome you wanted?  Sometimes, the best photos I’ve taken were when my daughter was ready.  I needed to have my camera ready and wait, be in the moment to work towards capturing it when it happens.  There’s a phrase that photographer’s use “shoot through the moment.”

Copyright Kristina Dahl - munchieandcompany.com

It doesn’t rain very often where I live, but when it did, I made it special, puddle jumping, splashing each other, I played as much as I shot. You may be surprised that this is not posed, I was just ready to shoot and shooting through the moment.

Note:  If you are waiting and your child is not cooperating, take a break, try it again later, try it again tomorrow.  Do not force your child to “have a moment,” that will never be natural.

In my work as a photographer, having a conversation is a good way to build rapport.  Children are taught to be weary of strangers. But, if you can find a common ground by finding out their favorite princess or superhero, what they had for lunch or their favorite food.  I’ve also learned that giving them a task or asking them to take a deep breath, have them close their eyes and look at me on the count of 3, or let them pick the spot where they want to stand, make a silly face, etc.   Give them something that can be their own and they will give back to you.

Play

Just play.  Let it be fun.  You should be having fun too.  Put your camera down for a few minutes and play with them. Life is about fun.  Let it be fun.

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