In part 2 of our series on how to take better photos of your kids I will talk about something that will help you to see how light effects your photo. What am I talking about? Your flash. What I do I want you to do with it? I want you to turn it off. That's right TURN OFF YOUR FLASH when you are taking pics of your kiddos. "But then all of my photos will be dark!" you say...well this is the challenge. How to find light (other than the flash on your camera) that you can use to make flattering or even beautiful photos of your kids. I'll get to the taking photos indoors without your flash in a sec.
First let's talk about what the flash on your camera does to your photos. Flash flattens out your photo, meaning it makes the picture look 2D. It takes away any natural shadowing that happens from natural or ambient light. Flash gives that really flattering red eye effect...unless you have the red eye reducer on your camera then it only takes 30 seconds to take a picture as you wait for the flash to stop, well, flashing (we've all been there). Overall your on camera flash just isn't very flattering...for kids or for adults.
Try using as much natural or ambient light as possible. Ambient light is existing light in an environment. It could come from a table lamp, a street light, or that big ball of fire in the sky. It is whatever light there is when you are taking a photo no matter how dim or bright. The trick is using this light to your advantage. It is pretty easy to go outside and take photos of your kids in some nice daylight. Here are a few tips for taking photos of your kids during the daytime.
Now let's go to when the sun has gone down and you are inside. What do you use then for natural lights. This where you get to be creative.
I realize that we sometimes have to rely on the flash on the camera, but try try try to do all you can to find an alternative...oh, and if you are going to use your flash make sure you are within about 10-12 feet of your subject. After that, most point and shoot flashes are useless.
Here are a few examples that you can accomplish to.