Some of the people I know from the web know me via my girls picture, when I meet them face to face they are always looking around me, to see if I’m hiding a girl somewhere. Sometimes I think that my web presence is somewhat more “real” just because of the girls’ photos dotting and lighting up my digital life…
I do have 2 amazing girls, but that’s not the only thing that makes their photos good : I have 4 years of photography studies behind me and more than 15 years of experience, so here are some of MY favorite tips – that will help all of you making the best out of your pictures, even if the only camera you ever had is your mobile phone.
1. The best camera is the one you have
I’m a big believer in this phrase. Kids are like small animals at a national geographic movie, you can wait forever to “catch” a good pic, so the best way is to hunt them down whenever and wherever you (and they) are. You should look at them via the camera, take the regular point of view aside for a sec. Seeing them in new light will make sure the pics are different from the regular”mommy and daddy” pics.
2. Point of view
Most of the parents take their photos while standing in front of the kids, so the pics are from above, with the kids look up. It’s like you can see the whole family pyramid of power in one single pic. What I suggest – pick another point of view, lower your camera, call them when they are walking in front of you – get down! Kids are small, be on the same level with them and they will look at their best (unless you got the cutest baby ever and you want your viewers to feel how small and cuddly he/she is..)
3. Eye to eye, soul to soul
Kids often turn their eyes at the decisive moment, as they see a bird, the sun is in their eyes, whatever – play with their “eye contact”, tell them to look at you, or better, look at something else, let them look at each other – looking into the camera is dull!
Ye. I know. You “shouldn’t” cut peoples’ faces when you are taking their photo, again – dull. Cut like there is no tomorrow. You should always be aware of the “right” rules (like this one) but only so you’ll have the ability to smash them!
5. Think before click
The new cameras are amazing, they allow us to take 100 pics in a second, SOME of them must come out nice, somehow… But it’s not fun and it’s not good practice. Think, imagine, find fun and nice locations, build pics in your brain the THEN go outside and try to create them. Not from zero, from your brain. You’ll be surprise how efficient it can be.
6. Look around you, see what other people are doing
I’m a huge fan of learning from observation. There are AMAZING photographers out there, armature and professional. Look around and learn, try to find what you like and what you don’t like, try to understand what will go well with your own cute object of photography and what wouldn’t. I can give you some links. Take a look at this amazing pic – the light, the look, the softness, the message… PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA (I LOVE it) I love Sally Mann too, even that her pics can be really disturbing
7. Play with colors, Play with light
Kids are so colorful! You should take advantage of it. They go amazingly nice with colorful backgrounds and with simple backgrounds. Use their natural colors or their outfit colors to make a contrast, a statement.. Try to find patterns, try to conflict them with the outfit they are wearing. Use the light, it is your best friend. Look at the way it falls and use it – some of the mobile cameras don’t deal well with light and shadow – take it as a benefit!
8. Take your pictures from your heart
This is the most important rule of all. You love your kids, you can’t breath when you see how small and tender they are, you look at them like no one else does. This look, this empathy, this uniqueness is what makes YOUR pics the best pics of your kids…