I’ve always been a bit of a documenter so I love taking photos, even more so since Gracie arrived and I found myself saying the same cliches that everyone else does ‘they grow so fast!’ and ‘where’s the past year gone?!’ Before I know it she will be off exploring the world on her own, no longer needing a mummy cuddle at 2am, or to curl up in bed in between daddy and I at 6am. My eyes are starting to well up so I’ll get to the point!
Before I studied photography I often felt frustrated at the outcome of some of my photographs – too dark, too light, blurry…and I didn’t really know what to do to fix it, it was just pot luck. I’ve put together my short ‘how to’ pointers that don’t require expensive camera equipment, it can just be your phone because it’s all about the person and the surroundings!
Go outdoors! The best light is natural light and often houses can be a little dark. 4pm is a great time of day because it’s not too bright either. Outside also provides the most interesting backdrops too. I hate when I get a lovely photo of Gracie in my kitchen and the bin is in the background!! Getting out to the field close to our house is a favourite of mine – it’s tree lined with a little stream with wooden bridges and a little farm at one end
But if you need it indoors…find the room with most light and near a window. In the morning we get sun at the front of our house and we get evening sun in the back. It’s knowing this that helps me know where to plonk Gracie with a few toys! This photo I had the window just on the left and opened my blinds fully to let as much light in. I avoid using flash as it casts shadows
All about the light.. this one makes or breaks any photo. No matter what editing software you have some photos just can’t be salvaged if they are too light or too dark. It’s a really lengthy subject so I won’t get into it! Because children move around so much it’s not easy to control but I often just take a few test shots at different angles to see what looks best. The below pic was on a very sunny day with the sun slightly behind us.
Get on your knees! Getting down to their level definitely gets the best results (and it’s a pretty good workout!) I’ve created rips in my non-ripped jeans from shuffling around on the floor so much ha! But seriously, this one is just about perspective and framing. If I have the camera pointing either up towards Gracie or on the same level I can also get some lovely background in and get the best perspective.
Don’t say SMILE! I see so many people yelling ‘SMILE!’ at kids and they get these really awkward fake grimaces! The absolute best way is to make them laugh naturally. Tickling is great in my experience and can get really lovely intimate photographs with two people in them like this one by chatting and distracting them
Get up close The zoom function on camera phones are never very good and tend to mean that you lose detail so get as close as possible to capture all those precious little dimples, curls and eyelashes 🙂
And if you do have a DSLR camera and you want to get those photos with the beautifully blurred background then I would recommend getting a lens with a large aperture such as F1.8. This is what I use to get total focus on my subject and throw the background out.
I’d love to see any of your candid shots that you’re really proud of! Tweet them to me @TheSundayBlonde
Have a great weekend!