I’m often asked how I get the photos that I do…children being as active as they are. For one, I have children…and I have built up a lot of patience over these past few years. Secondly, I get a real kick out of hanging out with kids. Kids are the most amazing people at any age and capturing that one moment that really explains who they are is a goal I try to attain when photographing them. And of course, I’ve had a lot of practice. But, with a little luck, a modicum of patience and a lot of preparation, you can catch some pretty special moments, too. Here are some of my favorite tips.
• Be patient. Be ready. Younger children don’t often go where you want them to go so you have to go with the flow of their moods. While you can often lead them somewhere, I don’t know many 2-year-olds that will stay there longer than a second or two. So *you* need to be ready (e.g., looking through the viewfinder, finger over the shutter release, etc.)
• Rule of thirds. This comes into play when you’re composing your shot. Imagine there are two equidistant lines going vertically and horizontally in your viewfinder. Try to place the subject’s head where those lines intersect. This will make for a more interesting picture than one where the person’s head is smack dab in the middle.
• Fill the frame. If your main subject is your daughter, don’t make her so tiny in the photo that she is overwhelmed by the background. Fill your viewfinder with the main subject.
• Get in close. Don’t miss those adorable expressions fleeting across your child’s face. Zoom in close and be ready to snap several shots.
• Try different perspectives. For small children, get down to their level. We often take photos of our kids looking down but have you tried getting on your knees and shooting pictures looking up? Believe me, it’s always an interesting viewpoint.
• Bribery goes a long way. As a mom, I know what buttons to push to get my kids to do things and I use them when necessary. One day, my girls wanted to go outside and play…and I made them sit down for a few minutes next to the very sliding glass door they wanted to exit, so I could take some photos. That lasted for all of 2 minutes before the whining began…but it was enough.
I hope this helps. With the holidays fast approaching, the Kodak moments will be endless and hopefully, you’ll be ready to catch them.
Original Solheim Photography blog post.