How to Get Good Photos of Your Own Children

Getting good photos of children can be tough, but I love taking pictures of kids being kids!  The laughter, joy, or pride as they have done something special just makes my heart happy.  I especially love taking pictures of my three year old son, but it might surprise you to hear that I take a lot of them with my iPhone, instead of my big DSLR camera.  Why? My iPhone is always with me.  As moms, we want to be able to cherish every moment with our little ones as they are growing up.  We are fortunate that with our smartphones, we carry cameras with us every day that can help us capture these times.  Getting good pictures with our phones can be tricky, but once you know what to look for, you can do it, too!  Whether you use a fancy dslr, or your iPhone, paying attention to just one thing can really help improve your pictures.  LIGHT! A picture is taken by capturing the light in a scene.  If the light isn’t good, the image won’t be very good.  
What makes good light?  You want to make sure that your light is even, not speckled (like under a tree where there are light and dark spots).  You can stand under a tree for shade, or a park pavilion, or on the other side of a building.  Just makes sure it’s full shade, so the light is even and the attention will be on your child.  You can find shady spots pretty easily, once you know what to look for!
Good Pictures in Shade
Sometimes, you can’t find a shady spot anywhere!  Maybe you’re daughter is playing soccer, or you’re going for a walk.  What do you do, then?  Move yourself around so that your child is between you and the sun.  That way, the side you see is shaded, and when they look at you they won’t be squinting. When I’m doing this, my phone usually makes my son darker than he is, or underexposes.  The great thing about the iPhone (and probably others, I’ve just always had this one), is that you can adjust it!  I tap on my son’s face, and it will expose for him. If I need to make it brighter still, I can drag my finger up a little and it brightens it.  It works pretty well, but if he’s running around playing soccer, I’m not going to really get much chance to make it brighter because he’s moving so fast!
Getting the sun behind your subject

Getting the sun behind your subject

Using iPhone to properly expose

Using iPhone to properly expose

 

 

If neither of these is possible, sometimes it’s more important to capture the moment, than to have perfect light.  Lastly, let them be kids.  Try to plan ahead for what they’re doing, and put yourself in place to get a good picture if they happen to be there.  And remember, you don’t want a ton of pictures of them standing and smiling at you.  You want pictures that make you laugh! Pictures that make you remember the moment.
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