I recently did a Facebook Live on tips for photographing your kids. You can check it out HERE. But I wanted to add a blog where I can explain these tips further with more examples. So, here are 4 tips for taking photos of your kids!
No1 Make sure they have eaten and are rested
Don't expect a ton of cooperation with a hungry or tired baby. Getting just a snapshot of a moment with your phone is great anytime, but if you want a little more, then make sure they have eaten and are not tired. Here a little hot chocolate and a snack sure did make a mess, but look at how happy she is! Obviously, if you wanted to get non-chocolate mustache photos, a quick clean up and they will be more cooperative to have their pictures taken.
No 2 Get down on their level
Change the perspective by getting down on your knees, sitting, or even laying to be eye to eye with your child. They will also be more likely to interact with you. Talk with them and snap away when they are responding. Tell them something silly to get those natural smiles. It's okay if they aren't looking directly at the camera, but be patient and you may just get a few.
**tip if you want eye contact: I like to ask little kids if I have something on my head. If we are outdoors I'll say "hey, did a bird just land on me?!?" They will look and might even giggle.
No 3 Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a term that refers to the placement of your subject. Divide your screen or viewfinder up like a tic tac toe board. You can add interest to your image by placing your subject where two of the lines cross. I like doing this a lot in images that run horizontal.
No 4 Have Fun!
Remember that kids aren't going to have long attention spans and need to get up and move! I was a teacher before having 3 kids of my own, so I can tell when a kid is "done" and won't want to pose, or smile, or look at me. Either choose an activity they can be doing so you can interact in-between frames or give them a space where you can run for a little while then sit down and relax.
I'll play games, break to make silly faces, or just run with children during my sessions to let them get out that energy. You'll want a faster shutter speed to capture those moments, but remember to put down the camera here and there to have fun yourself!