5 Tips for Moms: Photographing Your Children

This is the second post in our Mother’s Day series this week. Today we have the privilege to hear from Leia. Leia has a special knack for catching her sweet daughter’s personality and now we have the chance to learn from her and apply it to our own photography.  Thanks Leia!LeiaPose

Hi, my name is Leia and I’m honored to be a guest blogger today for Capture Sunshine. I am a mom and aspiring photographer {with WAY too many pictures of my almost-one-and-a-half-year-old daughter}. I’ve put together these 5 little tips that when followed will guarantee more interesting photos of your children. And don’t worry. Whether you have a fancy schmancy DSLR or you’re just using your iPhone you’ll be able to implement all of these tips. So go ahead, give them a try!

1. Don’t put your child {or dog or anyone for that matter!} right smack dab in the middle of the picture. Photographers have a guide for this called the “Rule of Thirds.” Mentally divide your photo into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. If you place your child, your subject, or their eyes on one of those imaginary lines your photograph will undoubtedly become more interesting. Placing them at one of the intersections of the lines is an added bonus. Try it out. I dare you.rule of thirds 2 rule of thirds 3 rule of thirds

2. A portrait doesn’t have to be of a face. Some of my favorite and most expressive photos don’t show my child’s face at all. Get creative and snap photos of little toes, heads turned to admire the earth’s wonders, outstretched fingers reaching for a slobbery dog’s ball, a back-turned-to-you embrace with a best friend, or a daunting walk to an at-bat. The possibilities are endless. Don’t think every picture has to be a smiling face.130316_035 130409_151 130320_004

3. Show the good, but don’t forget the bad and the ugly. I don’t know about you, but my daughter isn’t giggles and rainbows 24/7. Sometimes she melts down and sometimes she makes really ugly faces. These are the photographs that make me laugh. Every time. Other people want to see them, too.130305_056 130207_037

4. Capture personality. I can’t tell you how many photos I have of my little girl sitting perfectly with a toothy grin. Gratefully, she’s incredibly cooperative in front of the camera; however, how boring! I’m the first to admit that I’m still learning my own tip, but I love photos that give you a glimpse into the child’s personality, their current phases of life, and their personal interests and quirks. Capture your child in a game of peek-a-boo, playing fetch with their dog, laying their dolly down to bed, and crawling out of the frame of your perfectly planned photo. Stop posing your kids and start following them!DSC_0098editbw 130419_061 130419_059

5. Look for the sparkle in their eyes. A child’s eyes are often their most expressive and emotion invoking feature – make sure you capture that in your photographs! We’re looking for that glint of white in their irises that makes the eyes come alive. Photographers call it a catchlight. Without it, the eyes just seem a little dull and lifeless. With it, they’re more dynamic and seem to suggest a greater sense of depth. Catchlights are created when bright light sources {think windows, open doors, etc.} are reflected in the eyes. The brighter the light source, and the closer your child is to it, the brighter the catchlight. Next time you’re taking pictures try positioning your child in front of a window and look for the reflection in their eyes.130201_009130210_025 130329_055

So there you have it — 5 tips for better pictures of your kids. Now grab your camera and start clicking!

All photographs in this post are the property of me, the author. Please do not use them without my consent.

Leia Bohne writes at The Bohne Chronicles, a blog about her family. If you live in the bay area and are interested in contacting Leia about taking pictures of your family, please head over to her blog and contact her. I know she’d be thrilled to work with you.


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