Photo Basics For Moms
So, you have a super cute kid and you want gorgeous photos to share with friends
and family, right?! Here are some photography basics to help you capture better
images of your child.
Let’s start with equipment
“The best camera is the one you have with you, “ is a phrase I heard often from
my middle school journalism teacher as we pieced together the school newspaper
and the yearbook. At the age of 12, I pondered this advice frequently. “Shouldn’t I
borrow my moms fancy Pentax SLR?” I soon realized you can get creative and make
great photographs with just about any camera.
If you are chasing kids around, chances are you need something rugged that can
withstand puddles, mud and slimy toddler hands. My kids are often photographed
with the camera in my pocket (my iPhone) or my small point-and-shoot
camera...even though I own 3 high-end DSLR cameras.
Our family lifestyle is not always conducive to lugging around 20 pounds of camera
gear. I also worry about ruining a camera with snow, sand or water. I bet you agree.
These photos were taken with my iPhone. Hint: get a waterproof case...because it’s
basically childproof too ;)
Point and Shoot cameras
My favorite point and shoot camera is the Panasonic Lumix because it’s waterproof!
It’s also a smart camera, so you don’t have to think about technical settings...just
This is my go to camera for the pool; my kids love taking selfies underwater. It’s also
safe for running around the beach, sitting a sweaty pocket while you’re on your bike
or following the kids around the splash park.
Find a camera that suits your lifestyle!
I love to shoot during the last hour or so before sunset, aka golden hour. The other
option is shortly after sunrise (but who can get their kids groomed at that hour?!) If
you are going for that beautiful photo to commemorate a birthday or holiday...do it
in the evening to capture the warm glow of the setting sun.
worries, just use your flash. It seems counterintuitive to use a flash on a sunny day,
but it will give your child a nice even light on the face instead of dark shadows under
You may have to consult your camera manual to determine how to force your flash.
Typically a camera set on auto will not fire the flash on a sunny day. You can also
find a shady spot to get a softer light on your subjects.
Clouds are your friend
I LOVE when it just happens to be cloudy during a mid-day soccer game...this is an
occasion that calls for the fancy camera! Clouds are like a giant softbox...like the
world just became your portrait studio. Grab your kids and get outside.
Find the light! Photography is all about light. If you are indoors, place your subject
near a window. Cameras on phones are capable of producing great images with
enough light. If my child is painting in the kitchen nook, I like to set him up facing
the window so I’m prepared to get an action shot.
As you practice taking thoughtful pictures...these things will come naturally. You
may find yourself encouraging your children to play in the best light ;)
Simple tips to take better photos of your kids:
1. Fill the frame. Get close to your subject and fill the frame with details!
2. Don’t just stand there. Get down low. Get on a stool...be creative with your
angle. I love photographing kids at their level or even lying on my belly to get
a unique perspective.
3. Tell jokes. You know what makes your child laugh. Natural laughter makes
the best picture. Say no to saying “cheese”.
4. Capture details. Your kids will change fast. Their favorite pair of shoes, their
favorite toys, favorite foods...they will someday be a distant memory. Take
pictures of just their sweet eyelashes, their little toes and anything else you
adore about them.
5. Let them be themselves. Let them make faces. Let them run, jump and
play...it will be a better picture. You will record the joy of childhood rather
than the rigid “my mom told me to stand here for a photo” shot.
Now, it’s time to practice! Start with just one of these concepts if you feel