I recently did a guess post for my friend over at Live Delightfully and thought I would share!
Hi, I'm Lydia. I'm Regina's online friend. We initially met in high school and have stayed connected ever since thanks to Facebook. I've always liked her because she is so sweet and down to earth. We both enjoy DIY stuff and love us some Jesus.
I'm am the face behind the camera at Lydia Phillips Photography. I am originally from a small town in Oklahoma, but now I take up residence in New York City. My husband attends culinary school and I like to pretend that I don't eat sandwiches and cereal for dinner every night. Regina and I decided we could help each other out with some fresh blog ideas which is the reason why I'm here.
It's that time of year where a lot of you will be getting shiny new cameras for Christmas. With the affordability of digital cameras, it seems that people's "snapshots" are getting better and better. I still believe that every 3-4 years you should invest in professional photography for your family. The ideal times are after your first child is born, after your last child is born, the snaggletooth years, the preteen years, and then before your oldest child graduates high school. Professional photography is for canvasses for your walls, not screensavers or Facebook profile photos, so you should invest accordingly.
So what about the in between? What about the screensavers and Facebook photos? That's where your shiny new camera comes in. I'll share a few tips with you to take better photos of your kids with any camera. Oh, and always remember, the best camera is the one you have with you.
1. GET ON THEIR LEVEL
This is probably the most important tip, especially for those of you who have fairly young children. After most children's shoots I walk away with dirt on my knees, chest, face, etc because I get on the ground. All the way. If you are standing above your child and shoot with your camera pointed down, you are either going to get the top of their head, or their head will look quite large, while their feet look tiny. Crouch down to their eye level and I'm sure you will be pleased with the results.
2. DON'T SAY "SAY CHEESE"
Maybe I'm just saying this because of my photojournalistic approach to photography, but I think the best photos of kids are of them doing what they do and that doesn't necessarily mean looking at the camera and smiling. You will be able to capture some great moments if you just let them do their thing, even if it's catching lizards, peeing on the fence, having Barbie weddings, etc. These are the times you will be able to catch that expression that reminds you of your sister or maybe your son stands just like his grandfather. These are the moments that matter.
3. AVOID BAD LIGHTING AND DISTRACTING BACKGROUNDS
The best lighting for photos is in the evenings an hour or two before sunset. This helps eliminate harsh shadows and squinty eyes. If you are taking photos of your kids in your yard, try to watch for distracting elements in the background. Move them away from cars, trash cans, etc and it will greatly improve the look of your photos.
4. DON'T FORGET TO TAKE TIME TO PUT DOWN THE CAMERA AND ENJOY YOUR KIDS
This may seem like a no brainer, but please don't forget that your kids will grow up faster than you realize. You should absolutely take photos of your children, but you should also occasionally put down the camera and enjoy your time with them. Make mud pies, chase bugs, have snowball fights, and hug them...a lot.
I hope these tips have helped you and that you soon have some great new photos. Now get on out there and shoot your kids (with a camera silly)!