I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. They are not the easiest subjects when it comes to photography, but they’re who I want to capture the most. So, I’ve developed a few tricks to get some great shots of them, and their cute friends.
1) Be patient before you snap. I know it’s really hard to wait for a second, when you’re trying to capture a magic moment in the life of a wiggly child, but if your iPhone camera doesn’t have a chance to focus, the photo just won’t be that great anyway.
2) Take a few shots. I typically take 5 or so shots to try and capture at least 1 good one. I don’t like using burst, because it gives me TOO many of close to the same image, but I do think a few options are good to have.
3) Make sure the lighting is good (outside, near a window). It’s just easier to capture an in-focus image in good lighting.
4) Bribery. It does work…sometimes.
5) Make them laugh. Make silly faces. Tell jokes. Get on the floor with them (bonus is the angle is great). Play and giggle. Snap a few photos and chances are you’ll get one or two that are fantastically joyful.
6) Sneak up on them, and turn your camera shutter sound off. Don’t let them see you snapping away. Candid shots are some of the best anyway.
7) Use a timer. Just set the phone up to take a shot, and go play. They’ll forget the camera is there, and you’ll also get to be in on the fun.
8) Take them somewhere new. They’ll be so interested in exploring new surroundings, they may not notice as you try and photograph the wonder in their eyes.
9) When editing, use a sharpening tool…sparingly. Use it, but don’t overuse it. It’s a great tool to sharpen up an image just a bit, but it’s not going to save an out-of-focus image, and it’s going to look over-processed and kind of weird, if you try.
10) Most importantly, try to capture them. Don’t focus on capturing the “perfect” image, capture one that tells the viewer who the subject is, or how she feels in a moment.
You’ll still get a lot of outtakes. Sometimes they’re out of focus, or your child made a silly face or ran away just as you snapped, but they’re still awesome images that tell the story of the moment. If you love it, keep it anyway. Sometimes movement in a shot gives it much more visual interest and tells a better story. You don’t have to follow all the “rules” to get a great shot of your kid.