Tips for Taking Great Digital Photos of Children

Children make great subjects in digital photos because they rarely look the same from one photo to the next. They grow up quick, so you want to be sure to photograph them often while they are small.

The goal of child photography (whether you realize it not) is capturing the blissfulness, innocence, the child’s character and preserving it forever. Digital photography allows the capturing of these traits.

While taking your child to a professional photography studio results in technically perfect photos, rarely are they able to capture the true character of the child. That is most commonly captured through candid photography. The kinds of photos you take while the child is going about their everyday business.

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Use the digital photography techniques below to create photos that are a true representation of the child’s character:

  1. Photograph Stealthily from a Distance – Candid photography concentrates on the spontaneity of the subject and not on a staged setting. To do this, the photographer must be ready to take the shot as the event may be short-lived and gone forever.

You want the child to act natural and play. Using a zoom telephoto lens allows you to be far enough away as to not be noticed, yet “have enough glass” to fill the frame with the subject.

  1. Fill the Viewfinder – With the child being your subject, you want to be sure your viewfinder is filled (or close to it), not just a small part of it. The more “stuff” you allow to be in the photo, the more chance the viewer misses the subject.

Coming in close and getting head and shoulders shots ensure the child will remain the subject. Since much of a child’s character is shown through facial expressions and head and shoulders shots, ensure more of the child’s character comes through in the photo by zooming in.

  1. Stopping the Action – Small children especially are the happiest when they are playing, but they also move fast. To avoid digital photos with unintentional blur, you must be good at getting action shots.

Most of the digital SLR cameras have a pre-set sports setting which will stop action. If your digital camera does not, use a shutter speed of 1/250 or 1/500. If you can’t get that fast a shutter speed, try using a higher ISO or smaller number f-stop. Take a few practice shots to ensure your settings are correct before the action starts.

  1. Shoot From their Level – Many times you see digital photos of children and they were taken from above the child with the camera pointed down. Don’t do that!

Instead, get down to the child’s eye-level (yes even if it means laying the floor to photograph a baby playing). Your photos will have much more of a connection with the viewer by using these digital photography techniques.

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