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Photo to Movie Blog

10 Tips for Photographing Kids

Posted August 12th, 2011 by Chris

Taking photos of your children, your friend's and relative's children, or professionally can be a tricky business. They move at a fast pace and aren't always cooperative with your demands for the perfect shot. In this short list, we give you 10 ways to make your kid photography better. Practice will make you better, but you can improve even more by following some simple rules.

A good set of photos will make it easier to make a great looking slide show with Photo to Movie.

1. Take photos from down low to get the scene from the kid's perspective. Get down on your knees or even lay on the ground to find the perfect perspective. This is especially important when photographing babies.

2. Put the kids into a good mood. It's easier to photograph kids doing something they're having fun at doing. If they're not having fun already, take them to the park, play games, read to them, or otherwise get them into a good mood.

3. Try to get some photos when they don't know you're looking — they'll be more natural looking and you're likely to capture some memorable moments. Zoom lenses are good for this. Stand back and zoom into the action from a distance.

4. Help them smile for group shots. If you're taking a group photo, it's going to be tough to get them all smiling at once. So either use a camera that waits for them to smile (yes, they exist!) or just do the best you can. Many times, the promise of a silly picture to end the sequence will get them to cooperate just long enough to get the formal shot.

5. Make sure the kids dress well. This doesn't work well for spontaneous shots, but if you can plan it out, plan the clothes too. You can also add their favorite toy or stuffed animal to the shot.

6. Keep the composition of the shot simple with uncluttered backgrounds and just a few kids at once. Use a wide aperture setting to blur the background if you have enough light.

7. Shoot when the light is right: early morning or around sunset for nice lighting effects. Overcast days and shady spots are usable too with a good flash.

8. Utilize different focal lengths to get a variety of angles and perspectives. A wide angle lens, kit lens, and zoom lens can all be interchanged during the session. Keep your shutter speed fast for action shots and aperture narrow for maximum depth of field. Adjust both for special shots.

9. Include the parents and other people in some of the shots. Another person can help add context or story to your photos and highlight relationships.

10. Take lots of photos and experiment. It's difficult to predict how a smile will look after the shot is taken. Some shots that you meticulously plan will end up in the trash and some shots that were afterthoughts will be the best photos of the session. Take extra photos.

And last of all, bring your photos into Photo to Movie and show them to your kids with a slide show.

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