With the prices of DSLR cameras coming down I see many more of them out and about at the playground. After I had my oldest (who is going to be turning 6 next month *sniff sniff*) my husband bought me my first Nikon. I did not have the confidence to take my D50 our of automatic for at least 2 years but then I did and it changed the way that I took pictures. Today isn’t about a fancy camera though. Normally I carry around my Sony Cybershot in my purse/diaper bag all the time. It isn’t my favorite camera but there are a lot of times that I don’t want to bring my big camera with me. You don’t have to have an expensive camera to get nice shots of your kiddos. I don’t claim to be a professional photographer but I have learned a few tricks over the years that I want to share that I think make a world of difference in the final look of your snapshots. All of these were taken with my Cybershot.
1. Get on down to their level The look of the shot changes dramatically just by dropping to your knees to take the picture. It also helps with squinting as they are not looking up in the bright sky.
Here I dropped down to my knees AND just turned them around. Notice that there is nothing noisy (old truck) in the background anymore and they have nice light on their faces and are not squinting. This was taken very late in the afternoon.
2. Mid day sun is not your friend If all you are doing is hanging with the fam and wanting to catch the kiddos swimming in the pool then it doesn’t matter. However, if you want to get your child in their Easter outfit or new birthday dress aim to get outside no later than mid morning or about an hour before sunset. The colors are beautiful and you will not have to deal with the harsh mid day sun.
3. Open Shade If you are in a situation where you have no choice but to take a shot in super sunny conditions try and find some open shade. A very tall tree or a porch works great. Anywhere that you find good light but doesn’t have sun dappling through.
4. Fill your frame I love to fill the frame with my daughters. It shows their beautiful faces all close up and a lot of these are what I get printed for my walls. Zoom in!
5. Window Lighting You don’t need fancy equipment to get a nice portrait you just need a window. Have your subject sit a foot or so away from the window and angle them so that the light falls on their faces but not harshly. You can play around with angles though to make the shot more dramatic if that is your style.
This next shot was taken next to our living room window and I zoomed in. In addition I also used a free b/w action I found online and tweaked it a bit.
I take my big camera out almost every day and practice. It just doesn’t get old for me and I am always trying to learn more about photography. I hope that these tips help you get that shot you are proud of. Now, go forth and snap!