Get Better Photos of your Children
March 2012The Right Angle
So many times I see parents in the park or at the beach taking photos of their children from their own eye level, three or four feet above the child’s. This is likely to produce distorted images by enlarging heads and shortening legs. The solution is to get down to the child's level. By crouching down, or getting down on to your hands and knees, you will engage with them, capture a shot that shows them at eye level, and achieve better perspective.
It is difficult to get a good angle but if you are patient it can be done. Wait until they are calm then move up, down and around them to find a good angle. Sometimes they follow you with their eyes, watch for this and be ready to snap. Try switching your camera to portrait mode, lie down on the floor next to baby, or rest the camera on the floor. Use your zoom button to fill your frame rather than placing the camera too closely which could upset the baby. Switch to macro mode for a detail shot. Focus and fill the frame with a cute little hand, a foot, an ear or nose.
From 6 to 9 months they won't stay still so make sure to use a fast shutter speed, at least 1/250 second. Catch their attention with a squeaky toy or rattle. Once they can hold their head up, lie them on their tummy then lie down in front of them a few feet away, talk to them to catch their attention, focus the camera on the eyes then snap. They will get bored quickly, but don’t worry, there is always tomorrow!
Choose Your Timing
Babies don't smile very often and they are quite immobile but with the right timing and patience you can get a great picture. You may find that they relax and open their eyes at certain times of the day, at bath time, or after a feed. Be aware of those times and keep your camera handy to catch those fleeting moments when baby does something cute or funny.
With older children, a good time to catch them at their best might be at a fun fair, in the playground, playing football, or in fancy dress. They are more likely to have happy, excited expressions and genuine smiles.