One of my absolute passions is photography, it is my hobby and some times my obsession. Luckily I am blessed with three beautiful children with whom to try out new ideas. It was actually having children that awakened this need to capture every precious moment and also I am to cheap to go to a professional photographer :) I have completed a university paper on creative photography and that really set things going in the right direction for me. People are always asking who takes my children's photos and I am proud to say that yes it is me! These are some of the simple rules I live by when taking picture of my kids, hopefully some of them will work for you.
Get Down to their level
My youngest. I lay on the ground with a camera right down almost touching the floor to get this shot
Get down on the floor/grass what ever it may be. With older children sitting/crouching will usually be fine but when it comes to babies lie down! Sure it can be uncomfortable and you might get dirty from the grass/dirt or what ever but who cares? Getting down to a child's level gives more natural perspective! Chase them around, play! i find my kids never do what i want in front of the camera so its better to follow them around taking shot after shot and many times i have gotten a cool action shot!
Use natural light where possible
This photo was taken on my bed after a morning cuddle, he looked so cute so I stripped off his clothes and opened all my curtains to let in the morning light
My second eldest, very hard to photograph this boy as he is constantly on the go
This is one rule I absolutely live by no matter what I'm photographing! I quickly learnt that flashes are a big no no! They cause red eye and can make colours look all out of whack, as well as washing the subject out. On most cameras you can turn the flash off some how, on my digital slr i can stop my flash from firing automatically by switching to manual mode, or on my point and shoot there is a flash button that you press so it switches off. Check your manual if your not sure.
So get outside on a sunny day (though over cast days are better as they don't cast harsh shadows), position yourself near windows or move to a lighter room. This will give a more natural look and truer colours to your photos.
Cut out the background and get up close
This makes your child the sole focus of the photo. Who wants to be distracted by the pile of washing in the corner and the house work that needs doing, or a park full of other peoples children? Sure sometimes you want more background to put things into context, but i find filling up my frame with my child generally always gets a great shot provided i have been able to achieve all of the other tips as well.
Take lots of photos (you can never have to many)
Its the digital age! we are lucky to be able to delete what we don't like or want, so what's the harm in taking picture after picture. When i look through my folders lots of the photos look the same, but at least having lots gives me the chance to choose the perfect shot that i am looking for. I might have taken 20-30 shots but chances are there will be something there I can use!
If all else fails
Post editing in a programme like Photoshop or Picassa (which is free, and there are plenty of others) can be the way to go. You can straighten, crop and sometimes fix dark or bright photos. My favourite (if you could not tell already) are black and white portraits of my children. Black and white photography is very forgiving and can sometimes make the photo by giving it that little bit of something else it was lacking. To me Black and White is very timeless and gives a professional feel.
I will continue to post any other tips i think are relevant as i go along my photography journey