Ava Grace's Closet: An Amateur's Guide to Photographing Children {Part 2} : Tips + Tricks

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Amateur's Guide to Photographing Children {Part 2} : Tips + Tricks

I take a lot of photos of my children.
Right now, just because she happens to be the youngest, Ava is my constant muse.
I did the same with each of them.
In fact, I remember spending many a day just changing Isabella and Julian from one outfit to another and snapping photographs.
I included photos in birthday invites, thank you cards...anywhere I could share them.
Were they are they always perfect?
Definitely not. But that, in and of itself is what makes them so special.

When I look back at early photos of Isabella, I realized a few things; the biggest of those being what a HUGE difference a good camera makes!
I received my DSLR for my 40th birthday and honestly, it is the best gift I have ever received. Yes, even better than that Gucci bag. 
It makes me want to take better pictures. Try different things. New lenses. Angles.
I even swore I would take a photography class one day. 
Soon.
But for now, here are a few of the things I have learned along the way that have really helped the pictures I take of my children get world's better.

1. Having an agreeable subject.
I am so much more patient in all aspects when it comes to Ava. I have learned that if she is going to disagree or be cranky; no matter what I do or try to bribe her with will change that. Better to come back and try again.
No one wants pictures of a crying, miserable child.
ice cream may help.
2. Get outside.
I have tried to take good photos indoors. Lord, how I have tried. And I will continue to. In fact, I did just get a new lens {!} that will apparently help me to do just that. 
But, in the meantime, I take it outside, weather permitting. 
Nothing will ever be as good as natural light.
3. Get down on their level. Or change your level.
Some of the best pictures I've ever gotten have been because I got right up in my babies face. Or on the ground. Or on a chair.
Tried a different perspective or angle.
4. Capture motion.
I am still trying to get the perfect swing shot but I just love the process.
I've been playing with my camera settings a fair bit hoping to get better at this. I actually love jump shots more than anything.
As do my kids.
Can you blame them?

5. Take a ridiculous amount of photos.
In order to get 5-6 blog worthy pictures of Ava, I sometimes takes 50. Or more.
I cannot tell you how many times I think about days of old when the picture you took couldn't be seen. Had to be printed. And was later awful.
Now, I can load up my camera. Discard the ones I don't like. this part is hard. And keep the ones I do.
And again, often, there is that one photo that I am so excited to get.
The one that may have been number 48.
 6. Editing. 
Personally, I use Picmonkey to edit almost all of my photos.
I find it ridiculously easy to navigate and it provides me with so many options when it comes to customization.
I have so many early photos of the kids {read: before digital} that would be world's better if only they were slightly brighter.
I hope to one day scan and edit those. 

7. Keep your camera handy.
How many times have you heard the words "does anyone have a camera?". OK. Given, it is far less often today with iphones et al but I like to have my "real camera" ready all the time. 
It is always charged. 
And it is always in the same place. #ocd 
You just never know when the perfect photo opp arises.
Next week, I'll tackle editing in a little bit more detail.
Honestly, it can make all the difference. 

Any tricks I'm missing photog friends? 
See part 1 of the series here.

13 comments :

  1. These are great tips! I usually use Lightroom for editing, but Picmonkey is a great free version. You've got some beautiful photo subjects!!

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  2. Love all your tips! I never use a flash and I laughed about the having and "agreeable subject" lol sooooooo true!

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    1. OMG yes! NO flash. Ever! How could I forget!

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  3. Keeping your camera handy is such an important one! I always kick myself for not having a camera and I miss capturing some fun moments!

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  4. If I can just get the pictures developed and into a book, that is my struggle.

    http://palsywalsyblog.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I hear you. I still develop a ton of photos as well. There is just something about being able to look through them hard copy!

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  5. my camera used to be connected to my hip. but when my lens went bad, i stopped carrying it around (obv!)...i'm dying to get a new lens.

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  6. Dearest Susan,
    Oh my if we compare with cameras before digital images... what a fate that often was and so disappointing as you never could go back or live things over. Deleting is easy (well, uhh not so easy...) and it gives us an option for perfecting our goal.
    LOVE those jump photos; voluntary participation and it SHOWS big.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  7. You are an incredible photographer! I've definitely learned a few things, thank you for sharing. Especially the action shots....I NEED to take more action shots. ANd I agree having a good camera makes an amazing difference....I don't even know why it took me so long to stop taking pictures with my iphone and get a real camera.....but I'm glad I did!

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    1. Angela, thank you SO much! You're too kind. I am learning but know that I still have a looong way to go! And yay to getting a real camera. :)

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  8. I really need to use my DSLR more and just put down my iPhone camera!! You have captured so many amazing pics of your kiddos!

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  9. Just found your blog & love it! Great post, excited to follow along! :)

    wordsaboutwaverly.blogspot.com

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I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.

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