In the digital era, parents are able to document every milestone of their child’s growing journey, from their wobbly first steps to their first haircut, to their first day in school – in HD no less. But snapping the perfect shot is difficult when it comes to photographing an active child that’s more interested in running around than posing prettily. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are 11 tips to help fill your social media feed or photo albums with Instagram-worthy shots of your precious tot, all from your trusty smart phone!
Use Burst mode
It’s near impossible to catch a good shot when your child is constantly moving, not to mention the blink-or-you’ll-miss-it-moments. This is where the iPhone burst mode comes in. Great for sports, action shots and especially active kids, Burst mode takes a series of photos in rapid succession. After you’re done, just go back into the camera roll and select your desired shot.
To take awesome group jump shots, synchronise the action by counting “1, 2, 3, Jump!” to help your kids know when to spring into action.
Grab a seat
Instead of chasing down your toddler and forcing them to stay still, provide a place for your child to sit down so you’ll have a couple of seconds before they squirm away. Have your camera ready before sitting them down so you won’t miss the moment.
Capture the emotions
A glance at the Momo Twins’ IG feed sees elaborate shots filled with gorgeous details, props and scenary, but we were drawn to this simple shot of the girls happily running towards their parents (who had their camera ready). Because children come with no emotional filters, every mood and feeling they have are displayed on their innocent faces. Capturing these little nuggets of childish innocence is enough to bring life and emotion to the photos – no posing required.
Get down to their level
It might be difficult finding a good angle while snapping your tiny tot, especially if you’re positioned from your adult perspective. Try getting down to the child’s level – you could sit on the ground or even lie down with them to angle yourself from their perspective. This helps to paint the shot through the kids’ eyes and will also translate to the viewer.
Stick to natural lighting
If you’re used to snapping photos in dim lighting indoors, it’s time to improve your photos by using natural light. But while sunlight will be your primary source of illumination, it can work against you. As a general guideline, avoid taking photos where your subject is placed directly in front of the light source, unless you’re aiming for a silhouette shot. Simply take the photo with your back facing the light source and you’ll be set. Avoid using flash as much as possible because it tends to create harsh and unflattering photos.
Snap candids when your child is preoccupied
Whether it’s sneaking in a shot of your tot playing peacefully with his toys, or capturing the moment where he’s preoccupied with exploring the playground, trust us when we say that candid photos often turn out to be the most treasured shots. We love this candid shot of little Scarlett soaking up the sights and sounds of Venice, Italy!
Pay attention to the background
Many parents would know the frustration that comes with taking the perfect shot – only to notice an unsightly rubbish bin or other distracting elements in the background. Train yourself to notice small details and you’ll start seeing a difference in your shots right away. Additionally, using the iPhone portrait mode is an easy way to blur the background out and add more depth to the photo.
Focus on their eyes
The eyes are the windows to the soul, and focusing on the eyes of your child will create an engaging and captivating photo.
Shoot alternate angles
Kids are fun and dynamic, and your photos should reflect as such. Armed with your smartphone, try taking photos from alternate angles, such as from above, off-center or even from a distance to add more uniqueness to the shot.
A fun way to photograph your child is to make them seem really small – at least in comparison to the other elements in the frame. Here, we see Scarlett posing in front of the Dragon traditional playground in Toa Payoh. There are plenty of iconic places in Singapore to explore with your little one, so arm yourself with your camera and snap away.
Let them run free
Letting kids do what they do best (having fun!) allows you to capture the essence of their playful natures. Especially great for vacation shots, stand at a distance while leaving room for your child to run and play. Then, position them into the frame while allowing more space for picturesque scenery. And there you have the perfect combination of #wanderlust and #familygoals like Aarika’s beautiful family.
- With your phone usually at the mercy of grubby fingers and daily grime, cleaning your phone’s camera lens will definitely make a difference to your shot.
- Avoid zooming in because it makes the photo grainy and pixelated. Instead, get up close with your subject and take the picture from there.
- Especially for parents who love editing photos and printing them out, set the resolution and picture quality to higher settings to avoid grainy photos.
Featured image: Leialauren/Instagram