‘Momtographer’ shares tips for capturing great photos of kids

Lyla Myers, 20-months-old, blows bubbles in the backyard this past June. Her mom, professional photographer Sarah Myers, recommends taking photos of kids in action rather than looking at the camera for a posed shot.

Lyla Myers, 20-months-old, blows bubbles in the backyard this past June. Her mom, professional photographer Sarah Myers, recommends taking photos of kids in action rather than looking at the camera for a posed shot.

As a photographer, I find that the most captivating pictures are those of children. That’s not to say adults are boring, but there’s no comparison to capturing the uninhibited joy on a child’s face.

A lot of folks have bought into the lie that you can’t take good pictures unless you have an expensive Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR). It’s not true. You can compose beautiful pictures with the most basic camera. If you want to snap aesthetically pleasing photos, sure to make your friends jealous, just follow these tips:

Be prepared

You’re a mom so I don’t need to lecture you on the importance of expecting the unexpected. Make it a habit to have your camera with you at all times. Throw it in your purse or diaper bag. Even if you are just playing in the backyard with your child, have the camera ready. Don’t fall into the habit of only taking pictures of your children when they are looking straight at the camera and smiling. Capture moments that you’ll want to remember years from now. For example, my little girl loves bubbles. I was so happy to have captured her excitement on camera

Consider lighting

I hate using a flash because it washes out the subject. Taking photos outside is ideal, but avoid taking photos in the harsh mid-day sun. Instead, find shade or photograph in the morning or early evening. If you are taking photos inside during the day, angle yourself in such a way that your child is facing a window.

Get on your child’s level

When you kneel down (or lay down) on your child’s level, your photographs automatically become personal. We’re so used to looking down on our kid’s heads that it’s hard to train ourselves to focus on a different level. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did. You will create a more aesthetically pleasing picture when you move in (or zoom in) close to your child.

Composition is key

You may have heard the photography phrase “rule of thirds.” This rule basically states that when your subject is not centered, the photo is more satisfying to the eye. So when you’re looking through your camera’s viewfinder, or on your digital camera’s LCD display, try to line up your child in such a way that he or she is not smack-dab in the center. This type of composition allows the photographer to include surrounding objects and a background that make the picture more dynamic.

It’s all in the details

As moms, we know the little things in life bring us our greatest joy. That rule applies with our children. Look at your kids on a macro-level to determine what details you’d like to preserve through your photography. From little hands and feet, to their favorite “lovie” or toy, it’s important to include these items as focal points in your photos.

Sarah Myers is a blogger, professional photographer and stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, Aaron, are raising 21-month-old Lyla Addison in Maryville. The mom is a graduate of Heritage High School and Maryville College. She writes on her popular blog, www.pootsandpans.com. For more of Myer’s tips and her photography examples, visit www.blountmomstoday.com.

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