They’re cute, cuddly, and oh-so-photogenic – but why are they so hard to capture on camera? Even when you do get them on “film” it might never seem right, like it has impact. So, we’ve pulled together a few handy tips to get more out of your kid’s portraits.
Tip One: Change your Perspective
If you’ve gotten into the habit of always photographing your kids at eye level (which is great) you might want to change it up by choosing a different perspective. Try this: find a staircase or balcony and go up, then photograph your kids below you – you’ll end up with a fun new angle. When you’re done with that, try some kid’s portraits from right down on the ground, photographing up.
Tip Two: Discard the Rules
While it’s amazing if you’ve managed to incorporate a few composition rules into your portrait photography, sometimes it can be a bit confining. You can have some fun experimenting with breaking a rule or two. For example, try photographing half a face at the edge of the frame, center, or go out of focus. The point is to have some fun and reveal new ways to photograph your kids while creating some memorable portraits.
Tip Three: Add Some Props
When your photos start to feel a bit blasé then it’s a good time to add some props. Even a red ball, an umbrella, or a colorful quilt can take your photos up a notch, from every day to extraordinary. Hats, scarfs, and dress-up clothes also make great props and can add a splash of color to jazz up your kid’s photos.
Check out this fun list of props to add to your kids’ portraits.
Tip Four: Cut Out Faces
This might seem counter-intuitive for portrait photos, but you don’t always have to photograph faces. Hands, feet, legs, arms, all make for interesting photos (depending on what they are doing). You can also shoot your kids facing away from you, rather than towards, or looking off at something interesting that is further into the frame, such as a horizon or sculpture, building or even graffiti on the wall.
Tip Five: Try a Series
Try not looking through your lens for a single shot – look for a series. They could be your child in a series of poses, playing with a bunch of different objects or props, or a series of faces. For twins and multiples, you can have fun with them together and separate, and then combine the shots when you print, frame and hang them (try one facing left, the other facing right, then both together facing out or with backs together – once their framed in a series it looks really neat!).
Tip Six: Do Something Different
Great portraits are the ones that are outside the box – look for ways to create photos of your kids that are different. You could capture them jumping into a pool, spraying each other with a hose, buried in the snow, etc. Have fun and come up with new ways to create captivating kid’s portraits, and don’t stop experimenting.
Stuck in a rut? How about a hands-on kid’s portrait photography workshop?