Photography 101: Capturing Childhood
Expert advice from photographer Kelle Hampton will help you capture those wonderful, messy moments of everyday life.
A good sleeping baby picture is sometimes hard to capture. Morning window light can make great photos as well as sunshine during an outside nap. This overhead angle allowed me to focus on my daughter’s eyelashes, and the muted quilt pattern added interest.
Want to remember your baby’s favorite toy? The depth of field in this photo allows the toy bunny to take the spotlight while the soft blur of the other subjects in the background still suggest this was a happy moment during outside play.
Messes are an iconic element of childhood, and photos of sweet potato-caked hair are always great for evoking a laugh. In this photo, I focused on the eyes and aimed to get a good close-up shot to show the food detail.
Capturing your child’s first accomplishments like riding a bike or writing her name is an obvious occasion for the perfect shot. Think outside the box on how you capture it. Try cropping your image or focusing on details that include just a part of your child.
The pout, the cry, the imperfect. Oh, we love photos of our kids when they look adorable, when they’re smiling and posing and have a clean shirt. But don’t forget their infamous pout or the way they cross their arms when they’re upset. Years from now, you’ll want to remember it!
Mismatched outfits are more photogenic than color-coordinated ones. Crazy ensembles embody everything childhood represents—imagination, vivid colors, and originality. If you look below the high chair to find crazy socks and wild pajamas…grab your camera!
Capture your child’s curiosity in a unique way by focusing on the object of wonder—a butterfly, a sparkler, a ladybug— in a photo and including your child’s expression, blurred in the background. I love the interesting perspective in these kinds of photos.
Take advantage of colorful kid products—they make photos pop! Does your daughter have rainbow spoke beads on her bike? Does your son carry a colorful patchwork blanket? Include these elements to create some eye-catching images.
Play a Game
My favorite trick to get kids to freeze and move when I want? Play “Red Light, Green Light.” This photo of my daughter and her pal was shot just as I said “Green Light.” And it still feels natural because they thought it was a game, not a photo op.
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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