Whether you have a new baby, a toddler, or older children, family photos are a great way to capture precious moments to look back on in the years to come. Most phones and devices have high-quality cameras, making it easier than ever to snap important memories and milestones at the click of a button.
Sharing the photos you take is also a brilliant way to stay connected with loved ones and right now, keeping in contact digitally is more important than ever. As social distancing measures continue, it can be tricky to see friends and family in person. Sending grandparents photo updates can be a lovely way of making sure they don’t miss out on your little one’s progress.
In this post, we’re looking at great photography tips and tricks to help you get the perfect family snaps every time!
There are a few factors to consider when you’re embarking on any sort of photography, whether you’re putting together a dedicated photoshoot or capturing candid moments.
Photography itself is effectively capturing light! Therefore, the light available is a crucial factor in taking photos and can massively affect the results. Well placed lighting can add depth to your photo, making it more interesting to look at. The position of the light source can completely change the way the picture comes out.
Start off by using natural light sources. Natural sunlight outdoors is easiest to work with as it surrounds the entire area you wish to photograph. If indoors, try taking photos by a large window.
Think about your composition
Composition is the layout of your photograph — how the elements within it are arranged. A good basic principle to stick with is the Rule of Thirds. This rule essentially asks you to imagine your photo is divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you end up with a grid of 9 even squares.
The idea is to keep your image’s points of interest at the intersections of the lines for a more balanced and engaging shot. The eye naturally travels to those parts of the ‘grid’ rather than the centre of the image. Some cameras even offer a grid overlay through the viewfinder!
Get to know your camera settings
Whether you’re using a professional camera, your phone, or another device, take a bit of time to explore which settings are available to you. This may be as basic as knowing how to turn the flash on and off on your phone camera, or adjusting the shutter speed if you’re using an SLR camera.
Knowing what your camera can and can’t do allows you to make the most of the available features. Practice using different settings at different times of day to see how lighting affects the results.
Wix has some great photography tips for beginners to keep improving your photos!
Tips for taking great photos of your baby or toddler
Choose an interesting location!
If you’re setting up a more traditional photo shoot dedicated to taking pictures of your little ones, choose a location that the family feels comfortable in and that adds an interesting background. Although your children are the main focal points of the image, the surroundings play a role in setting the scene.
Let your children play
Taking family photos is about capturing the moment as it is, rather than manipulating it into the perfect portrait. Enjoy the time together and work with what you’ve got. You might get some unplanned gems!
Give your little one somewhere to sit
If you do want a more traditional portrait, try offering your child somewhere to sit. This allows you to get the composition you want, as the subject is static rather than moving around. It can also be a good solution if your little one is a bit tired.
Children are likely to get bored just standing and posing. Encouraging them to play with siblings or a parent can also prevent them from losing interest and getting grumpy while capturing their dynamics
Similarly, interacting with the environment around them adds an interesting dynamic. If you’re taking a photograph outside, see what happens when your child leans down to look at a flower or tries to jump in puddles!
Give them a prop
Another way of utilising interaction is to provide your baby or toddler with a toy or something to play with. Again this gives them something to focus on and might just keep them still long enough for you to get that winning image!
Get down on their level
Exploring different perspectives can provide an interesting visual aesthetic within your photos. Kneeling down to be at the same height as your child also allows you to capture the world around them, as they see it.
Focus on their eyes
When looking at a portrait, our attention is naturally drawn to the eyes. Adjusting the camera’s lens to focus on your child’s eyes, rather than any other surrounding features, can make them stand out and lead to a more captivating image.
Don’t go overboard with editing
It can be tempting to add a filter to your photo or adjust the contrast and exposure to the extreme. However, while editing can help you make the most of your image, too much adjusting can distract the viewer from the picture’s real focus: your family.
Filters can also date your photos. Looking back in years to come, you might be able to pinpoint the exact year of your image just from the ‘Instagram Gingham’ effect!
Sharing the photos you take
Learning just a few fundamental photography principles can really elevate your pictures and change the way you capture family memories.
Once you’ve captured your photos, there are lots of ways you can share them with your loved ones. If printing physical copies or photo books, check the file size of your image first. Higher quality images work best as they’re less likely to be pixelated.
You can also organise and share your lovely images with friends and family on your MySunshine timeline! If you have the app on an Android device, you can upload photos directly from Google photos.