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Monday, June 25, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: 5 tips for taking great photos of kids

My friend Alyson from Unruly Things posts family photos on Instagram, and every shot she takes of her son Wolf is utterly adorable. Luckily for us, Alyson agreed to share five tips to taking great family photos...

Hi, this is Alyson from Unruly Things. Photography isn't hard–it's actually quite simple. And you don't need a fancy camera. Recently, I've been taking all of my photos with my iPhone! It fits in my back pocket, and often I'm taking pictures on the fly so as not to miss a single thing in my son's life. Here are my 5 best tips to taking great photos of kids...
1. Take multiple photos. Kids and babies are notorious for wiggling or sneezing at the last second. When taking photos of my son, I take lots because he's so busy. Most of the photos turn out blurry but I'll still end up with a winner. Bonus tip: Sometimes I'll use the video feature on my iPhone, then take a screen shot from the video!
2. Try really hard NOT to use the flash. The flash creates harsh, fake lighting situations which can be rough on new skin. Try taking photos outside or inside by a bright window. And if you must use the flash, edit the photo to black and white to eliminate harsh lighting.
3. Take pictures from different angles. Don't be afraid to take a photo of your little one from the side or from behind. You don't have to see their face in every photo. I've caught some of the most precious moments of my son while he's quietly playing by himself. The photos feel more natural and less posed.
4. Get down on their level. That way, you capture not only what your child's life looks like but also what it feels like.
5. Take moments from everyday life. Not every photo needs to be styled or look like a professional photo shoot. The most beautiful photos are those that highlight moments in your real life, messy playroom and all! Capture everything, from fingers, toes, cheeks, bellies, ears and chubby legs to first giggles, first foods, hugs with the kitty, clapping, playtime, etc. It's amazing how life seems to go by in warp speed. Each moment is special, and I want to have plenty of photos to look back on.

P.S. More Motherhood Monday posts, including 8 Confessions of a New Dad and How to Talk to Little Girls...

(All photos by Alyson Brown)

53 comments:

Tinacious Me said...

aww these pictures are so precious! thanks for the advice!

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ElsaD said...

Great tips and equally great pics! xoxo

Valerie {all mussed up} said...

Darling. My nieces and nephews are my very favorite photography subjects. (:

Lauren Ashley said...

I will remember these, thanks for sharing! xo

AVY said...

Yeah, it's sort of like taking pictures of animals, they never hold still or do what you want them to.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



Lotta said...

Great tips and the photos are SO cute!

BTW....the little cottage in the posting "Do or Don't: A house registry" I think is the house I pass by almost every day! It's one of my favorite. I have photographed if from every angle there is ;)

It was a great day at Stone Barns and so fun seeing you.

I love your blog!

xx

J+H @ Beyond The Stoop said...

that last pic is perfect. for whatever reason dads LOVE doing this, but rarely do you ever get a picture of REALLY how high they toss their children :P

Robyn said...

h my gosh-loce the lsat photo! great tips!

Anonymous said...

That last photo made me laugh out loud. Such a sweet moment and he is SO HIGH UP! Dads are the best.

la domestique said...

Great advice! I'm off to visit my 1 year old nephew and I'll definitely keep these tips in mind -because there's gonna be a ton of photo-taking.

Anonymous said...

These are great tips. I always use a flash, but now I will try turning it off. Can't wait to go take some pics. These photos are really gorgeous. Cute little boy!

Eloquent English said...

Wonderful tips! That baby is oh so high in the last image! AHH! xoxo A-

Gab Mesina said...

So nice!!

http://gabmesina.blogspot.com

Joanna Goddard said...

lotta, how funny! and yes, so great meeting you:)

Fancy Pants said...

Great tips! I'm excited to apply these tips with my little one due in November!

Katie said...

Such beautiful photos!

I read a book called Mamarazzi that really helped me improve my kiddo photography and reviewed it on my blog: http://whatgnau.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-mamarazzi.html

Love pictures of adorable kiddos :-)

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww what a sweet little cutie and the photos are adorable:) Thanks for the tips! xo

Turquoise & Lime said...

Great tips! I will use these when my best friend has her baby very soon. Thanks for sharing!

Turquoise & Lime

Jacquelyn {The 20 Something Society} said...

Awww@! This is such a great post!

Ashley said...

Such great tips and photos! (And of course it doesn't hurt that Wolf is, like, the cutest ever!!!)

Kiana said...

I don't know if these pictures are so adorable because of her photography techniques or because her baby is so cute!!!

Rachael {all things beautiful} said...

Great tips and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!

Joanna Goddard said...

kiana, i KNOW! he has the cutest little face!!! and his name is WOLF! :) what a sweetheart.

Joanna Goddard said...

ooh, thanks for the tip, katie -- going to check it out xo

Melissa Blake said...

Adorable photos and tips! So much better than the days when my parents would take my sister and me to JCPenney to get our photos taken hahaha...

Trina said...

Seems like these are good tips for iPhone camera shooting in general--thanks for posting. I know that, realistically, I'll probably never shoot with anything more than my iPhone camera so it's handy to know best practices. Funny, I was just watching that new Ashton Kutcher commercial about taking pictures while simultaneously filming and it didn't occur to me to do this on the iPhone as well! Cool.

Julie and Luke said...

Great tips! Can't wait to put them to use when our first comes in October :) Any idea where her crib is from? I love it!

Thanks for yet another fantastic post - your blog makes me happy every day! xoxo

Jennifer of JennySue Makeup said...

I like the getting down on their level idea. I always use a flash- guess I need to try without:)

Rini said...

Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm so looking forward to take pictures of my little one... but still 7 weeks to go ;-)
xoxo
TouchKajal.blogspot.com

Cassandra Marie said...

Her son is too cute! Great shots :)

joanna k. said...

so cute photos!
and great tips! I am going to use them in a little bit over a month, after arrival of my baby boy :)

Andrew and Crystal said...

Great composition will always trump fancy cameras and effects! I take a million blurry photos of my son just to get those few good ones. Thanks for the great post, as always :)
-crystal

Joanna Goddard said...

fancy pants & joanna, you must be so excited:) and julie, i'll ask about the crib...xoxo

alyson said...

hi Julie! the crib is the Gulliver crib from Ikea!! it's the best, super affordable and sturdy enough for me to sneak in there for early morning snuggles. congrats!

Julie and Luke said...

Joanna and Alyson - y'all are the greatest! Thanks so much for the quick info. I was hoping that's what you'd say. It's on my top-two list. Glad to hear from a real person that it's a great, quality item :)

Thanks again! J

sian said...

great tips, i NEVER use the flash, it makes everyone (tiddlers and grown ups) look shiny and a bit ill.

wish they'd give these tips to the staff on the special care unit where our newborn son recently spent a couple of weeks, our first photo of him was taken by the nurse, he was in an incubator and covered in tubes and wires. she used the flash and the resulting photo is HORRID. sigh. i've been taking lots of nice photos in natural light to make up for the bad start...

in addition i always do a quick edit of my photos in iphoto (you could use any basic photo editing software), i adjust the levels, moving the sliders so that there is a 'true' black and white in the image. kinda hard to explain but makes photos look tons better.

Stefania said...

great tips!

Devon said...

My mother who was a photographer for years always managed to get a natural smile by making the baby/toddlers laugh. For example, making animal noises. She can nigh like a horse, meow and bark. She took thousand of photos of my brother and myself, for the most part she got great shots by following the tips listed above as well as making her animal noises!

Michele said...

Loup is becoming popular in France too. Such a great name! And thanks to Alyson for the tips.

Fey said...

Great post! My favorite is, "You don't have to see their face in every photo."

Meg said...

these are great tips! but also, don't forget to put the camera down just as often and really absorb, live in, experience the moment! i always forget to do this when i go on a photo-taking spree, but really being present allows you to remember the day with your whole being, which can sometimes be more valuable than being able to look back on it with your eyes :)

Alexa said...

the photo of him sleeping is so precious! so, so sweet.

Jenny said...

This is great! I can't wait until my husband can toss her up so I can get a shot like that!

Amielle said...

These are great tips for taking pictures of everything, not just kids!

Amielle said...

These are great tips for taking pictures of everything, not just kids!

Altax said...

Great tips!!! Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

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Wendy said...

These are great tips (and lovely photos)!

angela@momsinthecity said...

Great tips! I'll follow you on instagram foru sure ... I'm getting addicted!
I take the chance to share some good tips that a great photographer gave us, 10 do and 10 don't for taking pictures of our little ones. They are in italian, but I'm sure you can easily translate them
http://momsinthecity.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/10-do-e-10-dont-per-fotografare-i-nostri-bambini-i-consigli-di-roberta-garofalo/
Angela

Catarina Pereira said...

A country mouse...in such a perfect village in Portugal - http://giragirassol.wordpress.com/
Love your blog...

Tracy and Mark said...

my advice would be to take photos of your kids with their parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. i've noticed that some people only photograph their kid with no one else, but my favorite photos as a kid are one's where i'm with other people, not just one's of me by myself as a baby.

CamMi Pham said...

Great tip...how did he take the first photo that is insane...
x
cammi
http://www.cammilicious.com

myrtle said...

Great! Love your blog.=D
myrtle

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

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