From the moment your child is born, you’ll want to take photos, as a memento or maybe to share with others. No doubt you will take dozens, recording all the important (and less important) moments of their lives. But sometimes you may want to take photos that are a little bit special, rather than everyday shots. So how can you make your photos different from the run-of-the-mill snaps you so often see? These tips may help you to take some extra-special photos of your child.
1. Preparation is essential
The most important step in getting great photos is to get your child used to the camera. Naturally, there will be times when you want them to pose for a photo, but if you photograph them often when they are playing or involved in an activity, they will soon get used to the camera, and not feel self-conscious being photographed. This can help you get get a really natural feel if you are aiming for some informal photos.
2. Keep your camera handy
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a great photo opportunity, then finding your camera is buried in its case in another room. Try to get into the habit of keeping your camera handy at all times. This will mean you’re less likely to miss those ‘one-in-a-moment’ opportunities, such as when your child decides to clean the kitchen floor with the entire contents of a box of washing powder or raid your make-up stash! You can even take it shopping or on the school run; then you won’t miss the moment your child marvels at their first rainbow. These are the occasions when memories are made.
3. Plan ahead
However, there will be times when you want to take some more ‘deliberate’ photos, and again, careful preparation is the key. Think about your daily routine, and which opportunities might arise during the day. That first sleepy appearance in the morning, playing on the garden slide, or helping with the cooking, are all photo opportunities that may not seem immediately obvious at first.
4. Enlist some help
This is especially useful if you are trying to photograph a baby or toddler. Trying to take good photos and manage a small child is probably taking multi-tasking too far, so having someone on hand to wave a favourite toy or pull a silly face to raise a smile is very useful. Another pair of hands to help manage a wriggling youngster is worth its weight in gold!
5. Try to reflect their character
Each child is unique, and sometimes it’s wonderful to take photos that reflect that uniqueness. For example, if your child is a bit of a dreamer, a photo taken of them gazing out of a window, or perhaps cuddling their favourite soft toy, might be a great way to convey this. Action shots of your child running and playing might show their lively side, whilst photos of them concentrating on a drawing or dismantling an old laptop show a different aspect again. And these photos may be fun to look back on when they are older, in case they foreshadow a future career as an artist or computer technician!
Most families have hundreds of photos of their children, but probably only a few become real favourites, and this usually happens when they freeze-frame an unexpected moment or reflect something special about their child. With a little preparation and awareness, you can increase the chances that your photos will have that extra ‘something’ that lifts them out of the ordinary, capturing some unforgettable childhood moments.
Image courtesy of Melinda Swinford from Flickr Creative Commons