04 January 2008

Photographing Children: Hints and Tips for Photography Mums

So you want to take great photographs of your kids but you don't know where to start?  I hope my monthly item on Hints and Tips for Photography Mums will inspire you to take better photographs.  As a woman photographer myself, I promise you that I won't confuse you with all the technical detail, and those important bits of info that you really need will be explained in a way that makes sense.

So the first hint and tip - how often when you see your children enjoying themselves do you find yourself wanting to capture the moment so that you can remember it for years to come?  And when you get your camera out, either you or the kids will shout out 'smile' or 'say cheese' and before you know it, the photograph is the same as so many others you have of them.  Next time you get the camera out, photograph the children engrossed in their activity, playing, laughing, lost in the game, away with their imagination.

Remember, you don't have to photograph children looking at the lens every time you get the camera out.  You can get great photographs of them looking away too.  So start to think of yourself as a story teller, and each day as a short story waiting to be told.

How are you going to practice this tip then?  Well, here are a few suggestions:
  1. Pick a time of day when you know your children are relaxed, fed, and happy, and make sure you have your camera at the ready.  If you are inside the house you could put some music on and that will help to hide the sound of the camera click.
  2. Leave the children to occupy themselves with some of their toys.  Sit yourself down on the floor some distance away from them, and when they are engrossed in what they are doing start taking photographs of them.  
  3. If you are working with a digital camera then take lots of photographs, you can delete any you don't like later - although I would suggest that you never delete any photographs when you have the memory card in the camera, as it's all too easy to select 'delete all'.  I only did it once, with my first digital camera, a point and shoot that cost an arm and a leg about 5 years ago. 
  4. If you take your camera out on a walk with you, you can photograph the children running around having fun.
  5. To make sure you learn and get better you are going to need to practice, so pick a day each week for the next 4 weeks when you are going to get the camera out and have a go at story telling with your camera.  And above all, have some fun.
Hope you enjoyed this first hint for Photography for Mums.  More to come at the start of February.

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