Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post: 5 Tips for Photographing your Little Ones

I'm working on a little project for a talented photographer friend of mine, Misty Olson. I should get it finished this weekend and be able to show you the fun project next week. Misty's pictures make me want to keep saving for a nicer camera and learn more about photography. Today, she brings us some tips for capturing the spirit of your children through pictures.

I am a professional photographer, specializing in photographing little ones. I am here to provide you some insight on how to take pictures of your little ones without losing your mind. haha. I have two little ones myself. They are 1 and 3 and prove to be my most difficult "clients". They see me and my camera coming from a mile away! I've learned that trying to make them do something funny or cute and catch it on camera is practically impossible. However, lately I have also found my favorite images of them are the ones where they don't even know I am there. So that's where my tips begin.
1. Keep it a secret

I have found that when a kids KNOWS they are going to be photographed, right away they begin to turn on the shyness and often crabbiness. This of course is not the case with all little ones. I often start by just letting them play and get their wiggles out first hand. I act as a bystander and shoot when they are not looking and give them their distance. Here is a great example of my daughter and husband playing (which is currently on my all time favorites list) This is so "them" and she never knew what was going on.

2. Hide and Seek

Keeping in the subject of "hiding", I also recommended letting your little one "find" you. This is a great way to catch a fun/natural smile. I like to pop out, camera-in-hand and up to my face and ready to shoot. You can get all kinds of funny reactions. My favorite hiding spot is behind a tree. Here are a few examples I took playing "hide n seek"

3.  Take it outside

This next tip is pretty self explanatory. Go outside to photograph your littles ones. No matter what the age, kids love being outdoors and the scenery is MUCH better outside! Here is a little snappy of a just an adorable little boy sitting in the grass and another of him perched by a shack. I like to ask "can you sit here like a big boy?" or "can you put your back by this BIG door!?" 

4. Leave the "cheese" for the mice

I NEVER ask my little ones to say "cheese". No smile is better than a fake smile. Not to mention trying to make a kid smile and look at a camera is very difficult-especially for mommies when we are alone taking the pictures! I say if you can get your little one to look at the camera (this is after introducing the camera to them with a little "hide and seek" of course) then you can get some adorable images. My most successful way to get the little ones to look at me for more than .2 seconds is to sing their favorite jingle :) This is where you get to have fun with it. Maybe they will smile and sing along :) Make sure you sing loud and goofy! You can guess what jingle caught this little guys ears…and eyes :)

5. Flash is for Paparazzi, not Mamarazzi

My last tip for you is more of a technical tip, but it will enhance your photography like you never knew! When photographing children it's almost always during the day and as I mentioned in tip #3 you will be outside so don't use your flash. The first thing I notice on both of my kids are their eyes. Flash can do horrible things to a person's eyes. We all know about red eye, but also it does not allow the natural lights in and makes the pupils smaller. Here are some examples of what I mean about the natural light in the eyes.

I hope these tips will help you! You can see more of my work at and on Facebook at Boyd and Olson Photography. 

If you are looking for a talented photographer in the Chattanooga area, please contact Misty! Her work is truly amazing.

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