Photographing your Children – School Holiday Things to Do Part 1

Photographing your Children

Part One – Outside

With school holidays coming up you are always looking for activities to do with the kids and a photography day could be a lot of fun. You can do so many different styles at home or on location, set up shots or candid. Some children however will get bored very quickly with posed shots so maybe shoot those photos first thing when they are fresh and attentive.

An entry level DSLR camera is a great way to start.  Nikon and Canon have a large range of lenses to suit your budget a twin lens package (short zoom and telephoto zoom) and an inexpensive 50mm prime lens to get you started. You can upgrade either of those lenses down the track or you can get just get one lens that combines both those twin lens that may be easier for you without interchanging from one lens to another. Call Cameras Direct for the right advice if you are having trouble deciding. You can also purchase a flash and learn to turn it into a studio type light effect when using it off camera. But for now let us make it easy for you and shoot just using the existing available light.



If you are taking shots on location down the beach, gardens, and open fields etc or in your own backyard remember it is your child we want the focus on not the landscape. Check out some locations before the shoot. Backgrounds can be far too busy, so to get that professional look have the backgrounds out of focus. To achieve this use a longer lens and close down your aperture that way your subject will be sharp and your foreground and backgrounds will be soft and therefore making the subject stand out beautifully.

When setting up a simply portrait do not complicate things and keep props to a minimum. A field of flowers speak for themselves, and colour co ordinate with clothes. Maybe have fun with the old blowing bubbles shot. You can experiment with different angles however I personally like being at their same eye level even lying belly with little ones down on the ground depending on the situation.

Now the best time to take photos is generally in the morning or late in the afternoon. It is more directional and casts a wonderful warm glow with no harsh shadows on the face. Alternatively you can try a backlit photo which will give lots of hair light however you will need to light up the face and shadows with a flash or a reflector which bounces light back into the subject. These reflectors are portable, not expensive and come in many sizes but you may need someone to hold it for you particularly if you want to use a larger one. The normally come in silver and gold or a 5 in 1 which contains white for neutral colour balance reflection.



When taking images of group shots look at some images online to get some ideas and try a few different things once you have captured and are satisfied with the set ups photos. Maybe get them walking, running, jumping etc and even use your imagination and finish off with some silhouettes. Remember for moving shots you will to be on a faster shutter speed so enlarge the image on your LCD screen just to make sure you don’t have any blurring.

Here is Part 2 of our “Things to Do on School Holidays with the Kids”