Introduction: How to Take Great Pictures of Your Kids

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This article offers tips on the type of equipment needed as well as instructions on how  to take great pictures of your kids.

Step 1: You Need the Proper Equipment

For starters, you need:

• A decent camera. If your camera is just a step up from making cave drawings, you should probably invest in some equipment.
• Some basic skills that enable you to use that decent camera. If you don’t know your way around a camera, take the time to learn. You will be glad you did. There are some great online photography courses that are both affordable and convenient. You will never get these years back; so don’t put off improving your photography skills until you “have more time”. By the time you “have more time,” your kids will be grown. Are you really going to care as much about getting great photos of your balding, middle age children?
• Cute kids. It’s possible to take great photographs of not-so-cute kids, but it is much more challenging. Oh, well… Work with what you’ve got. It’s probably not worth going out and getting new kids, and you’re probably pretty fond of yours.

Step 2: Things to Remember

When attempting to take portraits of your children, remember:

• Remove visual clutter. It’s nice to be able to photograph your children in their natural habitat, but their natural is probably filled with five trillion Legos and every dream Barbie has ever had. (That woman needs to pick a career and stick with it.) We become immune to the clutter in our own homes. It’s fine to take a few shots of some of your children with their special toy, but your scrapbooks shouldn’t look like an ad for FAO Schwarz.
• Outdoor shots are timeless. Harvest gold carpeting and lava lamps age interior photos. But grass is always green. Sky is always blue. And flowerbeds always need weeding. Timeless! Overcast days create the most beautiful photos because the colors “pop”.
• If you need help with finding the proper indoor lighting, this is where you can be greatly helped by taking an online photography course.

Step 3: Who Shot Jr.?

The idea is for your home-done photos to have a professional flare to them. Learning to take great pictures of your kids takes some effort. You don’t want them to stick out like the home permanents your mother used to give you!

You might try some of the following shots:

• Have your child lie on a favorite family quilt, in the grass. If the quilt is a “busy” pattern, dress the child in something simple and monochromatic. There shouldn’t be a lot of competing colors.
• Capture your child being a child. Children like to run through sprinklers and eat ice cream. Don’t wait for them to look like they’re going to a cotillion. Childhood is joyously messy! Let some of your pictures reflect that.
• Play with angles. Get down on their level. Stand on a chair and look down. Perspective changes everything.
• Go in close. Dare to fill the frame.

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