Be “Stealthy” & “Spontaneous” – Give the kids free time to relax and play, and be watchful for candid moments when they are not aware of the camera. Some of our best pictures of our kids aren’t posed!
Be creative with your lighting – Natural light is the best, but remember the sun doesn’t always need to be at your back. In fact side lighting and even backlighting (having the sun behind your subject) can yield amazing results. If the sun does not cooperate, and you need to improvise, consider using an auxiliary flash for either a primary light or fill light. Be careful of red-eye with built-in flashes. If using an add-on flash, try to bounce the light off a wall or ceiling to avoid shadows. Often, a simple reflector helps to redirect the light you have to where you need it.
Practice Good Composition in all your photos – Knowing how to arrange your subjects in the viewfinder can make the difference between an “OK” picture and a great portrait. Practice using the “Rule of Thirds”, leading lines and “S” curves to give your images a new energy.
Think Outside The Box – Be creative. Don’t take the same pictures everyone else is taking. Try new angles of view, try different exposures and move your subject around to take advantage of different lighting. Carve your own fun niche…don’t be like everyone else!
Practice, Practice, Practice! – The beauty of digital cameras is that you can makes lots of mistakes and not break the bank! Take lots of pictures, change your settings and take more. But be sure to be serious when it comes time to edit. Get rid of the junk and keep your best work!
Lastly, check out on-line video tutorials, You-Tube videos, How-To photography books and the like for more tips and tricks for taking great photos. Consider taking a class at Harold’s Photo Centers. More information can be found at http://www.haroldsphoto.com.