Let me start by saying that I am not a professional photographer. Like at all! I just got frustrated with being quoted an arm and a leg for pictures that I felt like I could take myself.
On the other hand though, taking pictures of kids is no joke.
Honestly, to my kids, telling them to sit still and smile feels like the end of the world. To them and to me.
What’s even worse though than struggling to get good pictures out of your kids, is struggling and then failing to get anything!
I’ve come up with some tips that I use to get great pictures of my kids at home!
Side-Note: The camera that I use is the Canon 80D
At the end of the day, kids are gonna be kids. trying to get them to be anything but that is gonna be nothing but a headache for you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been almost hyperventilating because my kids won’t cooperate and sit still!
So I figured I’d get on their level.
For their Easter picture, I let my oldest Kaia play with the Easter eggs! I had her look for a specific egg and then show it to me. That way I got a genuine smile!
Also, every picture doesn’t necessarily need to be them smiling directly at the camera! I love this picture of my youngest, Ava, looking fed up with getting kisses from her big sister! It’s just as magical as a picture of them both smiling directly at the camera. (Which I never got…)
2. Natural Lighting And Interesting Backgrounds
These two things can be the difference between blah and a-ha!
What I used in this picture was my front door, which is painted a beautiful red. and had them sit on a comforter.
I made sure it was sunny outside, because I don’t necessarily have a lot of super harsh direct light hitting there, and voila! Gorgeous pictures of the new big and little sisters!
Basically the more natural light you have, the less your camera will have to compensate, which makes for crystal clear images you’ll cherish forever!
3. Use A Prime (50mm) Lens
This one is just my preference, but using the 50mm lens I have tends to naturally blur out the background of the photo and really focus on the subject you’re trying to photograph.
Technically, you could get the same effect with a different lens, but in order for a regular lens to give that effect, they’re usually really pricey.
The lens I have was only $125 and was a canon lens. You can pick it up HERE.
What actually creates the blur is called the f stop. (*nerd moment*)
Basically the lens needs to be able to reach appox. between an f stop of f/1.8 and f/2.7. The lower the better.
They also let in a lot of light which means, once again that you don’t have to compensate in the settings of the camera to get a brighter photo.
A con of the prime lens is that it can’t focus and is stuck at 50mm. So, you have to be relatively close to your subject.
It’s honestly up to you if you want to shell out the coin for the more versatile lenses.
Also, I’d only use this lens for indoor portrait photography, because it’s not very versatile. If you were outdoors, or the kids were moving a lot, then a different lens might be better.
4. Know Your Kids' Schedule
Nap time is a scary time to have things to do. So I would avoid it at all costs when it comes to picture day!
I wouldn’t try to take pictures of the kids during any times where they might not be in the best mood.
Make sure they’re fed, had their nap, and whatever else puts them in a great state of mind, or else trying to take pictures will be hell on earth. Believe me.
The great part about taking the pictures yourself is…you can reschedule!
5. Lightroom (Or Some Photo Editing Software)
Pictures rarely come out of the camera in perfect form. That’s where editing comes into play!
Even if it’s just a small adjustment like above, it can really make a difference in the final product.
I use Lightroom on my iPad, but Facetune or any other editing software can work just as well. Just tinkering with a few settings like clarity, exposure, or vibrance can take your photos to the next level.
With all these tips in mind, at the end of the day, just have fun with it! Kids can sense your fear lol so just loosening up and enjoying the process makes for great pictures. If not great pictures then at least great memories to laugh at later!