My Family

My Family

Welcome to our Front Window

Welcome to my blog! I'm Michelle and am a mother and a photographer. You will see pictures of my amazing clients here, as well as my three beautiful children. You may even see some shots of my handsome hubby. I take my camera everywhere I go, capturing life as we know it now. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile. Glad you stopped by.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tips for Better Photographs of Kids

I was featured on a guest blog a few days ago and am giving some photography info to a group tomorrow.  Wanted to share with all of you too!

When I bought my first "fancy" camera (Nikon D3100)  a little over a year ago I was excited.  I saw amazing pictures that photographers would take and would wonder how do they do that??  I wanted to be able to freeze my quickly moving children without it being blurry, and be able to blur the background that I loved the look of so much.(called bokeh-Great site that talks about Hollywood and Cream Cheese Bokeh!  Ha!). In October this past year, I purchased my first real lens and really started seeing a difference in how sharp my images were.  (Go here for more lens info)

I am 50% self taught. Thank goodness for the internet.  I am a trial and error kind of girl. I can read and be told how to do things with my camera, but until I am out there taking pictures with real people and a real setting, does it make sense. 

I wanted to pass on some tips that have helped me take better photos, especially of my kids. :)

Tip: #1
Carry your camera wherever you go.  I carry my camera wherever I go in an amazing purse I just got for Christmas.  You never know when your kids may be doing something really cute that will make you want to pull it out and take a picture.  Don't wait until your kids look perfect to start snapping away. Some of my favorite photos of my kids are at the park, playing at home,  or on a nature walk.   I even have some pictures of my kids in the big ole cart at Target!  Ha!



Tip #2:
Read your instructions manual and learn how to shoot manual. 
I felt guilty about buying an expensive camera and not learning what it could do!  I finally sat down one night and read through my manual with my camera in my lap.  I also turned the dial over to M (manual) and decided I wouldn't move it back.  I found helpful charts like this one below and really focused on understanding it.  Now again...this didn't start making sense until I started taking pictures in manual and putting into practice what I had read. 



Tip #3
Have fun when you photograph
I quickly learned that my pictures turned out better when I was relaxed and went with the flow of my kids.  My kids are 4, 4, and 3. To photograph the three of them together looking at the camera is difficult.  When I want to take a photo of them together I try to make it enjoyable and fun.  I make sure all three of them are rested. Cranky kids = horrible pictures.  I choose a location where they can run and play.  Parks, trails, empty fields are my favorite. I also bring props that will help!  Lollipops, pinwheels, balloons, balls, etc. Having these props will allow your children to stop or slow down.  This allows you to capture their sweet faces. Talk to your kids while you take their photo.  Point out things flying or bugs crawling below and snap their picture as they are enjoying the world around them.  Sometimes they will surprise you and not need any props at all.  :)



Tip #4
Take pictures in good lighting
My favorite times to take pictures are at 9 am and 3 pm.  These times of day the sun is low enough so that it is behind your subjects. You usually don't want sun on your subjects faces. I say usually because I have seen some talented photographers snap pictures in full sun which have turned out amazing.  You don't want your subjects squinting while looking into the sun.  Natural outdoor lighting is my favorite.  If I am taking photos indoors I will try and take pictures near a bright window with my back to the window.  If you are in a really sunny location try to find some shade.  If you can't find shade try to make shade.  An umbrella is a fun trick! 

Tip #5
Find what inspires you
I love to be inspired.  Looking at others photographs inspires me to try what they did.  It could be a prop or a location.  Pinterest is a wonderful place to gather images you like and want to try and recreate.  I found it helpful when I was first starting when a photographer would list out the camera settings on how they achieved the image.  This was very helpful to me when I was learning how to shoot manual.

Tip #6
Editing does help
I knew when I got my first fancy camera that I wanted to edit my pictures but didn't want to spend money on a program. I was told about www.picnik.com by another photographer and I was so thankful!  Awesome site for people just starting out! ( I now edit in Lightroom which I love!  :) )

These photos I edited in Lightroom~

Before:


After:


Before:

After:


Editing pictures gives them the pop they need. 

Tip #7
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the great things about digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you want (as long as you have the memory)!  Snap away!  Not all of your shots are going to be keepers and that is ok.  The more you practice the better you will become. 

Tip #8:
You Decide
Remember that as the artist of your photos you decide what looks good. What looks great to one might not be a favorite of another.  That's ok. Everyone has their own taste.  Take and edit pictures how you like.  Oh and print them out to enjoy!  I love mpix.com for my everyday prints, standouts, and canvases. 


Tip #9:
Take a picture every day. 
There is a project called Project 365.  Take a picture everyday of the year, for 365 days.  This will force you to take better pictures and will also give you a reminder of what you were doing during those 365 days. You could start this project at anytime during the year and then just continue it for 365 days.  Send me an email if you decide to take on this fun tip! J  



Tip #10:
Snoop around.

What type of images do you like and would love to recreate? Check out my website, or any photographer’s website/blog!  You will hopefully be inspired snooping around on a photographer’s site.

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I love questions!  Send me a question or comment to delaneybelle00@hotmail.com


Happy Shooting!  xoxo


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