A few weeks ago I posted tips for preparing for your family’s photo session with a professional photographer. Not everyone has a chance to use a pro for their family photos so I’ve created some quick tips for you DIYers that will be taking your own kids’ photos this fall:
Choosing a location- As a photographer I have a list of “must haves” when I scope out new locations. Parks with wooded areas and walking paths (open fields are a bonus) are one of my favorite places to take kids. A downtown setting can offer a lot of variety and interesting backdrops (think old buildings, safe alleyways…) but kids can get easily distracted. Same goes for parks with playgrounds- these can be a great bribing tool but also can distract kids from the job at hand. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards are also great fall locations.
Timing is key- Timing is important for two reasons- great lighting and happy kids. The best lighting will be in the mornings or early evenings. You want to make sure you can face your children into the sun without them squinting or needing sunglasses. You’ll also need to make sure you have shaded areas available. A great tip for finding a not too bright but not too dark location is to take a test photo with your flash off- if the picture is too bright or too dark you probably don’t have a great location. The times for best lighting isn’t always the best time for your little ones so make sure they are well rested and fed before you try and take pictures. Bring along a snack, they are great bribing tools!
Make them happy- Don’t make a huge deal about the pictures. Make it fun and stress free, if they know you are desperate for good pictures you probably won’t get any! They are going to do the exact opposite of what you want anyway…so let them be goofy in between “pretty smiles” and ask them how they want to pose, then tell them to do a “serious picture”. Tell them jokes, make silly faces and noises…get REAL smiles!
Round ’em up- If you are finding it hard to keep your child focused, try corning them against a fence or wall, or sit them on a rock or stump. Keeping them positioned in a way that isn’t easy for them to just run off will help keep them focused on the task at hand.
Who’s brave enough to take their kids’ pictures this fall?