Many of us will remember the days when disposable cameras formed the bulk of family photos. Yet, now things have moved on significantly form the hand labelled folders of printed out pictures. The widespread availability of reasonably good cameras on our phones and the omnipresence of social media platforms to share these on, has radically changed our way of taking pictures.
Generally speaking, the ability to capture more of our experiences is a fantastic tool, but the clear hazard here is finding you are producing ‘quantity over quality’. (Infotrends reported that in 2016 we took 1.1 trillion photos which is set to rise to 1.4 trillion by 2020 – almost exclusively on smartphones!). In the end though, there is a limit to the number of pictures you can frame, or even archive. To avoid getting bogged down in this new world of photomania, we have created a guide to list easy to follow tips for taking great family photos in 2018.
How To Take Better Pictures of Your Kids
1. Don’t Wait For Special Occasions
The pace of family life is quick. It’s not for nothing that people tell you ‘they grow up so fast’. When you are busy keeping the family truck on its wheels (figuratively speaking) it can be easy to fall into the habit of only taking pictures at ‘big occasions’. However, it’s important (and much more fun) to get pictures of your kids when they are not on best behaviour. A truer portrait of family life can often come from a shot of your unkempt children eating toast before school than in their party dress at your sister’s wedding. Make the journey more realistic and capture the lows as well as the highs – you’ll often have a better laugh over these pictures later.
2. Experiment with New Equipment
Smartphone cameras have done a wonderful job at making photography more accessible to non-professionals, yet it is undeniable that they still have their limits especially in low lighting and high exposure shots. If you want to take some truly remarkable pictures, experimenting with different lenses and stand-alone cameras is definitely preferable. However, professional standard equipment is so often outside of the justifiable expenses of working parents. Happily for the amateur photographer, the growth of peer-to-peer lending platforms like Fat Lama (available in the US/UK) are rectifying this, allowing you to rent photography equipment from nearby owners for a fraction of the buying price. Cost-busting rentals gives you a huge potential to have fun expanding the limits of your photography, from wide-angle lenses to air shots with a drone!
3. Capturing the Moment Does not Always Mean Capturing the Smile.
One of the most common complaints of parent photographers is trying to get all the kids to smile at the same time. Kids are like fleas in a bag: it’s hard enough to get them to stand still at the same time, let alone smile in unison. One answer to this is abandoning the struggle altogether and embracing a more natural style of photography. Marshalling you children into line can give a picture an artificial even forced feel. Why not try taking a step back and capturing them in action? Pictures of them interacting together or concentrating on a project can come out far more intimate and honest than a traditional portrait.
4. Get Low
As adults, it’s easy to forget that a child’s life is taking place at a level much closer to the ground. Small children will inevitably interact with the things closest to them, too; they inhabit a world that is built for giants and so the view from their eyes in entirely different to ours. If you want to capture them going about their daily business, you need to limber up, get your knees dirty and get down to their level. Become a visitor in their world for a much more intimate and quirky shot.
5. Be Picky
The last stage is perhaps the most important and difficult of them all. As I highlighted at the beginning, the biggest pitfall facing the modern family photographer taking too many photos. By all means, try and capture all the moods and occasions you can, but make sure this doesn’t just turn into a reflex. You need to maintain a sense of perspective, otherwise you may end up both forgetting to live in the moment and producing lots of low-quality photos. Like so many art forms being choosey is key to maintaining the quality of your photography.
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