7 tips for taking better portraits

I bought my DSLR Camera before I had my children because I enjoyed taking pictures. I wanted to be able to enlarge them and hang them on my walls. After I had Savannah, my first child, I thought I’d be able to seamlessly start photographing her, and save the money on a fancy photographer. Well I tell you what, taking pictures of your children is not as easy at taking pictures of landscapes, Especially babies. I had no idea. Savannah is now 4, and I have baby number 2, Tinley.  After experimenting with Savannah, and taking a enrichment photography class, I do not take nearly as long. I get what I want in a few simple shots, and we are off playing again.

Let me share with you what I learned so that hopefully you too can save some money and capture those beautiful life moments to cherish forever.

7 tips for taking better portraits

The best setting on your DSLR for portraits is AV

This setting will focus on your subject and give you a blurred background. This is something I always appreciate in a good photo. I want to see my subject, and not focus on what’s going in the background. The farther away the objects are in the background the more blurred they will be. Again, the sharper your subject, or child will stand out.

Look at whats in your background

If you’re staging a photo and you can see your car parked in the driveway, or a basket or unfolded laundry, reposition the subject. I like woods, or rustic buildings, something that might compliment the child. In this picture, I took some of the easter eggs outside and let her play with them. I literally took fifteen minutes and she enjoyed herself during the process.

Go outside

Find some trees, a pond or a barn. I love taking pictures in the fall because of the gorgeous colors. Natural light is the best. If its winter, and you don’t want to brave the cold, go by the windows. This picture was taking in front of a window in the winter at dusk. I had to switch my camera no flash mode (looks like square with a line through a lighting bolt on your camera dial) to get the silhouette look.

Make it simple

Kids can only handle so much. Fast and fun; the more work you put into it, it will become a chore. Just try different things until you get the one you fall in love with. There is always one, that I love.

Make funny noises or say something hilarious to make them look at you and smile

They sell these squeakers on amazon for infants. You can put on the end of your lens to draw their attention, but I’d play peak a boo, or engage them somehow before I took the picture. Older kids seem to like it when you say something really funny unexpectedly, or simply telling them not to smile.

Study poses

if you’re taking photos of siblings or your family. Get some ideas before, that way it’s still fast and fun.

Make it fun

Some of my favorite pictures are the ones we didn’t plan. Not all have to be perfect because when you look back on these pictures, you’ll appreciate you took them. If it’s a fun activity, your kids are truely going to be smiling.

Happy Clicking!

8 thoughts on “7 tips for taking better portraits”

  1. These are great tips! I’m always taking so many pictures, but the quality could definitely be better! I’m going to try these out! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your photos are gorgeous! I especially like your tip to mind what’s in the background, there’s some local photographers I wish I had the guts to tag in this! Haha.

  3. I need to up my game on my pictures. These are some great tips and beautiful pics to go along with the tip. Thank you for the ideas to improve my pictures.

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