How to get better photos of your kids

I thought it was about time we addressed the elephant in the room, you just can’t get that good photograph of your child.  I’m a professional photographer, and sometimes it’s hard work even for me. Some kids have me doing cartwheels, balloon modelling, and impressions of their favourite Disney characters, all for that million dollar smile.  So I thought I would write this article offerin4 useful tips and bits information you can use when trying to get a better photo of your kids.

1, Cheese. That’s right, it kind of seems blindingly obvious now I’ve said it. A smile is a facial expression of joy, happiness or amusement. Nobody ever smiles because they are told to. Although we have a lot to think about when taking a photo, the main thing is the interaction with the subject. If you do something funny the person in the photo will smile, and that’s how it’s done. Although ‘cheese’ seems to be a tried and tested word, try funny words like ‘wibble wobble’ or blow a raspberry. You might find those natural smiles start to creep out.

2, Be prepared. You have to be in the moment, something that is re-enacted is hardly ever the same. Have the camera or phone in your hand ready to snap. If you think something is going to happen, be ready.

3, Give your little one the knowledge. From about the age of 2 onwards, kids can get involved with taking photos. If you don’t want them to get their little mitts on your brand new smart phone, there are plenty of cheap child friendly cameras on the market. Once they know the process, it should be easier for them to understand what you are trying to achieve when your taking a photograph of them.

4, This is the big one, the main reason your kids are not preforming in front of the camera. You may not have seen this coming and you may not want to hear it, but it’s all your fault. You know you are a role model, the person your child looks up to the most, the one they draw inspiration from. If you are the person that stands there saying “I hate having my photo taken” then you are passing all that negativity onto your child.  Just pretend to like it, even if it is only for the sake of being able to get a good photo of your children. Set a good example, and hopefully they will follow it.

These are just a few pointers. I wanted to offer a few tips and observations I have made over the last 15 years of being a pro photographer.  In some cases people just lack that bit of confidence, and that can take time to overcome.  Happy snapping everyone.

By Philip Aucott, Photographer & Owner of Philip Charles Photography Ltd