Camera phone technology has evolved immensely in recent years and it’s never been easier or more convenient to shoot high-quality photos – which is a boon for busy parents. Plus, sites like Instagram make it easier than ever to share (and archive) key moments of your family life. Worried your photography skills won’t adequately capture the beauty (and hilarity) of your kids? With some practice and the right tips, an amateur can look like a pro. Here’s our roundup of the top 10 tips for taking better Instagram pics of your kids.
#1 Take timing into consideration.
As Bobbi blogs on How Does She?, when photographing kids, timing is everything. Ensuring your child is rested and content will make them more cooperative and photogenic. She suggests taking photos after a nap and a snack.
#2 Shoot outside the Instagram app.
Morgan Shanahan shares her pro tip on Babble, “getting a great shot of a high-speed subject usually requires some rapid-fire clicking. The Instagram in-app camera doesn’t give you that luxury, so try your regular phone camera instead…”
#3 Take candid shots and encourage authenticity.
The most precious moments don’t usually include your toddler sitting still and smiling on cue. Coolmomtech blogger Nicole Blades advises photographers to try different tactics, “Go beyond ‘say cheeeeeese’ and get some candid, fresh energy in there… sometimes the imperfect shots, the shots with kids looking away or doing something you wouldn’t ever expect turn out to be the best.”
#4 Shift your angle and perspective.
While the instinct may be to shoot straight while standing, shooting at different angles adds interest. Don’t be afraid to crouch down to your child’s level, for instance. Try seeing the world from his or her perspective.
#5 Pay attention to natural light and use it to your advantage.
Using flash can be distracting for kids and often results in your subjects looking washed out. If you’re shooting inside, try to find natural light from a window to soften the scene. Putting some thought into the time of day you’re shooting can yield incredible results. The “magic hour” of light just before sunset offers soft, golden hues and is the perfect time to snap family portraits.
#6 Move in closer.
Some of the best shots are close-ups because they capture minute details. Getting close also allows you to cancel out any distracting clutter in the frame of the photo. Didn’t feel like cleaning the house today? No worries. With a close up, nobody will know!
#7 Use the rule of thirds.
When composing a shot, you may be tempted to place your subject smack dab in the middle of the frame. Don’t. You can use a simple photography technique for better composition and balance. The “rule of thirds” divides a frame into nine equal squares, like a grid. The idea is to line up your photo points of interest along the intersecting lines. While this might sound complicated, most cameras have optional gridlines you can turn on to help frame shots. Check out tip #2 on 5minutesformom.com for examples of child photography using the rule of thirds.
#8 Experiment with filters and editing apps to improve photos.
Sometimes the lighting isn’t quite right or a photo looks better when cropped. Don’t be afraid to play around to improve the original shot. Everyday Narratives features some tips and tricks, including advice on how to soften a baby’s skin tone.
#9 Turn your camera sideways.
Taking landscape shots, as opposed to portrait, gives you more editing flexibility. As Emil Pakarklis says on iPhone Photography School, “Most photography apps, including the native Camera app in iOS 8, give you the option to take square photos. While this helps you compose square photos more accurately, it also means that you capture less pixels and have less flexibility in cropping stage.
For this reason I capture all my photos in landscape (or sometimes portrait) mode, keeping in mind that most of them will be converted into squares afterwards. Of course, there will be times when you take a great photo that can’t be cropped into a square, but I think that’s a risk worth taking.”
#10 Take a ton of pictures.
Photography with kids involves patience and persistence. Don’t be afraid to keep snapping shots!
Have other ideas? Please share them in the comments! And share your #CloudbCutie shots with us for a chance to win Cloud b goodies every month!