First off, can we all take a moment for Harper turning two? I can’t yet deal with my emotions of her growing so quickly, so I am going to suppress those a little longer and talk today about how I snagged these cute pictures of her.
We do our annual family pictures and those turn me into a sweaty stress ball. While we do always get some great individual pictures of the kids, I love snapping some candid ones of the kids at home (read, much less stress and sweat). The other day, I took these pictures 10 minutes before we had to go get Hudson for preschool. I am by no means a professional photographer, but I feel like I have learned a couple things over the years that help me with taking quick, cute pics of the kids.
1. No flash – I don’t even really know how to properly work the flash. When I do use it, I get a lot of unwanted shadows and washed out skin tones (and we all know Harper and I do not need our skin tones washed out any more than they already are!).
2. Indirect natural light is best. Depending on the time of day in my house, different walls are going to be hit by light. This area on our staircase has a large window above where I shoot and it provides the perfect amount of indirect light. Open the blinds and doors and you will be amazed at the amount of light that you can create. If you do have too much direct, putting a sheer or thin sheet over the window can help diffuse the light.
3. Be okay with some imperfections. This shot of Harper was initially pretty blurry. I loved the pic and tried to salvage it by using my sharpen tool in editing. Is it perfect, no. Do I love it still, yes.
4. Avoid the clutter. This can be hard in my house. Clearing out a quick area usually means tossing some laundry and toys aside. Be mindful of not only what is in your immediate area, but also farther into your background. For the kids’ portrait shots, I try to keep them against a clean background like a wall or blanket. For their more “every day lifestyle pics” I will shoot them candid around the house.
5. Embrace the out-takes. This shot was unintentional and one I did not think I would keep. After editing, it became one of my favorite pictures as it caught her delicious round cheeks and tiny curls so well 🙂 Sometimes the non-traditional pics turn out the best.
6. Capture some motion. Sometimes I appreciate a little movement in pictures of kids. Rarely in real life do they actually sit still, so capturing this movement can be beautiful. I recommend turning down your shutter speed to help capture some stillness with the motion.
7. Take advantage of blank space. I love a large area of blank or dead space in a picture. See the large area above Harper’s head. Not only does having a larger area of dead space help when it comes to editing and cropping, it can also help create a more dramatic effect. I also think it helps illustrate their small size a little better.
8. Edit away. Editing is where the fun is and when the pictures really do become more artistic. I use Lightroom and have developed my own go-to filters I use. There are lots of filters out there for purchase and playing around with these and the editing tools in Lightroom can really help you achieve the right light and color balance for your pics.
Hope these tips help and inspire you to snag some quick (non-stressful) shots of the kids! What are your tips for shooting pics of the kids?