Don't Say Cheese! How To Take Better Pictures of Your Kids - Part 8 - Let Them Be Kids!

by Eric Von Lehmden | February 2, 2012

Every once in a while it can be a good idea to reward the kids. I know, I know...that's why I said "every once in a while". You can do this letting them do something they don't normally get to do. Jumping on the bed, wearing Mom's make-up, having a foam fight, having a water fight, drawing on each other...or themselves. Sure they are going to think you are the coolest parent ever by letting them do this "special activity"...but you have ulterior motives. You are after some one of a kind fun photos. Letting your kids do something they can't normally do will ensure you get a lot of smiles and some memories that will last for a long long time...both for you and possibly more importantly...your kids. Especially if you make a few photo canvas prints out of them (wink, wink). They will always remember the time Mom or Dad let them cover each other in mud. Just be sure to have the hose ready to spray them off before they go in the house. Oh and be sure to set a few ground rules...especially if water, mud, or paint is involved. Mom and Dad are out of bounds (or whoever is holding the camera). Make this a surprise or a day to look forward to as a reward for good grades or for doing their chores for a month straight. I promise you will get some great unexpected photos of your kids as they run wild with reckless abandon.

So start thinking about something you normally would let your children do, then plan something special for them and let them have at it. Be sure to have your camera up and ready and keep clicking because the action will happen fast. If you shoot as much as I do you will probably end up with close to 100-200 photos in a very short time period. Which is completely normal. Just follow your photo organization like we talked about in Creating a Workflow System blog post. There will be plenty of photos to choose from to print or create canvas photos with. These photos would be perfect to decorate your kids room with too. The photos will be oozing with so much personality and fun that it may be hard to choose.

Now, if you do so choose to create a canvas print or several canvas prints from photos you took here are a few tips to consider when you are taking and processing your photos.

  1. Shoot outside if it's going to get messy (unless you put that plastic painters sheet over everything inside). Shooting outside will allow you to stop the action and will prevent blurry photos.
  2. If what you are doing involves bright colors like markers or paint then be sure up increase your photos contrast and saturation to really make those photos pop.
  3. If your fun involves mud or dirt, then maybe a black and white or sepia toned image might be worthwhile looking into.
  4. To get close in or even a part of the action without risking your camera you can cut a circle in the end of a plastic shopping bag and place that over your lens then use several rubber bands to make sure the bag won't move. Then pull the rest of the bag over the camera and leave just the eyepiece so you can still look through the viewfinder.
  5. Beware of stray water balloons, nerf darts, flying spaghetti noodles...and whatever other chaos that might be happening.
  6. Have fun.

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Tips-n-Tricks #249

A telephoto (zoom) lens will compress your background making it look closer to your subject than it actually is. A wide angle lens will do the exact opposite.


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