So, did you get that new camera for Christmas this year – or perhaps had a bit of a splurge on Boxing Day? No it’s time to get to know your camera, so you can start taking amazing photos of your kids, as well as friends, family, pets, food, landscapes, nature, or whatever strikes your fancy. But first, you need to learn what not to do when it comes to child photography.
Waiting for the “right” lighting
Mistake #1 is a pretty easy one to make; when the light’s not right it’s just more challenging to take a great photo. But that’s the point – if you challenge yourself to child photography in less-than-perfect lighting conditions you can learn to make awesome photos regardless of the lighting situation.
Emphasizing gear over practice
It doesn’t matter if your camera cost $100 or $1000; the main roadblock to creating great photos is your own level of expertise. We are too prone to blaming the tool, without learning how to operate it effectively. If photographers can take great photos with 100 year old cameras or iPhones, then so can you. This photography blog can help with the basics of child photography, but you can also read books or take a class.
Not having the right gear
Hey look, I just contradicted myself. You’ll find that a lot in photography – some people will tell you one way of doing things, others may tell you the exact opposite. What I mean here is that if you want to focus on a specific type of photography (such as wedding or portrait), you’ll have more luck if you spend some time researching the right kind of gear. A portrait lens is great for child portraits and child photography in general, but not so good for action photography or capturing your kids on camera when they are far away.
Ignoring the power of editing
Yes, it would be amazing if every single photo came out of your camera just perfect. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, so learning how to use editing software, even a free program, can be a lifesaver by making those little tweaks that turn okay children’s photos into great ones. Things like white balance, crooked horizons, or even how you framed your image can be easily rectified – so more of your kid’s photos turn out picture perfect.
Getting frustrated and giving up
You’ve been photographing for xx days/months/years, etc., but the photos are still not turning out the way you want them too. Rather than giving up, double down. Enroll in a local class at your community center, as another photographer to give you some tips, go to the library. Photography is like any hobby, you have to learn the ropes and it takes time. Don’t give up!!
Searching for the “right” setting
With all the options on new cameras it can be common to get “stuck” trying to decide on which setting to use. While all the various settings and options allow you a lot of creative control, it can also be a bit too much for beginner photographers. For DSLR cameras, try P (Program Mode). It doesn’t give you quite as much control as manual, but it gives you a nice blend of choice while balancing aperture versus shutter speed settings that you can easily change to experiment with different combinations. You’ll soon get a feel for what works for certain compositions, at which point you can take it a step further.
Don’t forget to have fun, that’s what child photography is all about!