Although we would all love to drag our cameras around with us everywhere we go, particularly when our kids are with us, it’s just not practical. Fortunately, today’s cell phone (and tablets) have very good photo-taking abilities, as long as we take the time to learn how to use them. Here are some tips for better smartphone photos of your kids:
Kids Photos Need Light
Like your two year old, your camera/smartphone needs to be “in the spotlight,” since it doesn’t have a large sensor to work with or as many options to increase ISO or aperture to create a better exposure. Full sunlight or bright days are best. Also ensure that the main light source is coming from behind the camera for the best results, as the automatic sensors may not be able to deal with a lot of back light.
Keep Your Smartphone Steady
The compactness of your phone is not your friend here as it can be hard to hold steady. In order to get your smartphone as steady as possible you’ll have to adopt a “stance.” Pull your elbows into your body, take a breath and capture the shot as you slowly exhale. Always try to hold the phone with both hands for a steadier grip.
Try Smartphone Flash
Make use of the flash, it can be of use – and not just for dark rooms. Using the flash outside can help to reveal details that would have been lost in shadow. It’s also good for balancing out photos with a bright background to give your subject more prominence. If the flash simply isn’t giving you the results you want, find another light source or move so your light source is coming from another direction. Keep in mind that using flash will drain your smartphone battery more quickly.
Get in Close
If at all possible, do not use the digital zoom on your camera for photos of your kids – it will merely make each pixel larger, resulting in a “blocky” effect. Get closer if you can, if not you can crop the photo later (but this is a similar effect to using the digital zoom).
Don’t Forget the Rules
Even though you are using a “non-camera” to take photos, don’t forget that by applying a few of the rules of photography you can create awesome photos of your kids, rather than just snapshots. Some rules to consider include the rule of thirds, leading lines, and natural frames.
A final note – clean your lens! After living in your pocket or purse (or being held tightly by sticky fingers) your lens will need a good cleaning to give you crisp photos, so keep a lens cleaning cloth handy.