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Photography Tips For Photographing Kids site contributor:
Total-Image Magazine By Shelton Muller

The photos we take of our children are among our most treasured. Pictures that map our child’s growth and recall so many priceless moments fill our family albums, perhaps more than any other subject. These techniques will help you capture those moments at their very best.

While we love to take photos of our kids, sadly, the results are often disappointing, uninspiring and a far cry from the classic images that capture the innocence of childhood – like those we see in greeting cards and Anne Geddes calendars. While we may never be able to quite match the beauty of those pictures, taking memorable photos of children is not difficult.

The most honest and endearing images of our children are usually taken when they’re left to their own devices. We always emphasise the need to refrain from interrupting the playfulness of children and to simply follow them stealthily, camera at the ready.

Using available light is ideal for more natural pictures, so you’re at an advantage if your home has rooms illuminated by large windows. Flash will kill the cuteness of most photographs with its harsh, directional lighting and its unnatural background darkness and shadows. Furthermore, it will alert your children to your intentions and distract them from their activities. So, try using available light where possible, ensuring you use fast film like ISO 400 for better exposure.

Another problem commonly seen in snapshots of children is perspective. Simply put, we are tall and they are small – a fact that often sees us adopting a demeaning overhead perspective. Placing a baby on the ground and standing above his or her head rarely results in a complimentary photograph. Try lowering yourself to floor level and photographing your children at their height. Not only is it less demeaning, but the perspective is more interesting.

Finally, be sure to take as many pictures as you can. Children are not easy subjects to work with – hence WC Fields’ advice never to work with them! Children are fast moving, will gravitate towards parents (usually the ones with a camera in their hand) and move between several facial expressions within half a second! Families with digital cameras have an advantage in being able to check their photos for success immediately after each one is taken. Each frame costs nothing to take and they can print only those pictures they like. Remember, though, that a photo you may not value today will become more precious with each passing year.
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