I. Zero in on Photo Bombers. They aren’t always people. They are random objects, furniture, tree trunks, food, chairs, horizon lines, dog tails, diaper bags, snack boxes, chairs, coffee tables…My point? Look behind your child’s cute little head- is something poking out from behind? Is there something bright and colorful that’s distracting? (I’m learning that yes, there will always be something bright and colorful near your kid. We need more pretty pastels Fisher Price!) Look for a clean, simple background. But for the love of all pretty things don’t put them up against a wall. (See tip three)
II. The best light source? Obviously I’m a huge fan of natural light. So….Go outside when possible… BUT avoid high noon. Why? The light is too harsh! You want that pretty, soft directional light- which is ideally found later in the afternoon. Now that your outside- where should the sun direct it’s light? Behind the subject, always…and that’s not because I want to protect your kids eyes, although that is an added bonus! With the sun behind your subject, it creates beautiful dimension. Now, for those of you shooting with a cell phone, shooting with the sun directly behind the subject won’t work. If you’re using your cell phone opt for a shaded spot. If you’re inside- find a window. Use that window light at a 45 degree angle (slightly turned toward the window). You dont want the window to be directly behind them (you’ll get a silhouette) or shining directly on their face (the image will look flat and one dimensional)
III. Get down to their level. That means on the floor- eye to eye! The image will have more depth and dimension by seeing the environment behind them. But, don’t put your kid directly in front of a wall/tree/bush/house etc…Pull them AWAY from whatever background you want to see in the photo. For example, if there is a pretty flowering tree- dont put them next to the tree trunk. Move several feet ahead of the tree and then you’ll notice the scale of the tree is more manageable to capture in the background- and your little ones face will still be the focal point!IV. This is the camera you want. My recommendation is middle of the road- not too amateur not too pro. Canon 7D. There are currently two models on the market- I and II. The first version will work great and you can get it used for a really good price for quality photos. If you want to invest in the 7D mark II have at it- but certainly not necessary! And it also takes video (bonus!)… If you dont want to invest in a big cam- grab the iPhone X. The portrait mode is really great!