Pictures are a way to capture special moments and create lifetime souvenirs.
To help you take the best photos of your children and guide you for the Princess & Posies photo and portrait contest with the artist Shari Ford (more info here), we would like to share a few tips and tricks.
INGREDIENTS FOR CONTEST SUCCESS
How to take a photo of your child by Shari Ford herself
Do and don’t from some of our favorite photographers
Tips from Mary Blan Moore
Mary Blan specializes in Children’s Garden Portraiture. She is based in Birmingham, AL.
My advice would be to place the child in an environment that is beautiful and has structure to it, but that will not be overwhelming or take away from the beauty of the child. Shooting in soft lighting is an absolute MUST. The best lighting comes around Golden Hour which is the hour to hour and a half after sunrise or before sunset, when the light is soft and not overly bright. Shooting with the sun to the back or side of your subject will provide best results.
For capturing an image that is natural and genuine, the best results come from talking to the child and asking them silly questions while simply watching them. This allows for the facial expressions to be organic. Having your camera set to a high shutter speed and continuously snapping images will provide you with numerous options of expressions.
In order to have the best results for a beautiful portrait image, DO NOT shoot at an elevated angle. You will want to be eye level with the child, keeping the child the focal point of the image. Keeping balance and structure to the overall image as well as background details in mind. You don't want an environment that contains dramatic distractions from the child, rather situations that compliment the composition of your image.
Tips from Britt Jensen
Britt Jensen Photography is located in Northshore of Chicago Il and focuses on lifestyle family, children, and newborn photography. Her work has been seen in Sheridan Road Magazine, Dearly Magazine, The Kindred Path Journal, Forest & Bluff Mag and The Family Photographer Blog.
My philosophy with kids is to allow their personality to shine through and try to make it fun. Talk to the child about their favorite games, toys, and shows. Sing songs, play peek a boo, whatever you have to do to try to get them to relax a bit.
Then, be speedy! No kid I know wants to sit for more than a minute or two at a time. For a classic portrait, find some good even lighting. If you are indoors make sure to turn off all overhead lights, and position the child near a window (the more window light the better). Turn your subject toward the window (but out of harsh light). Then chat and snap away!
If you are outdoors, don't place your subject on the grass during midday sun, as there will be lime green, fluorescent grass that will reflect right back up on your subject's face, causing their skin tone to turn slightly (or very) green. It is very difficult to change or to edit out, in my experience.
Instead shoot early in the morning or later in the evening when the sunlight is less harsh or find shaded grass. If you need to shoot midday, place a light, neutral colored blanket (white or ivory is a great choice) on the grass for your subject to sit or lie on. This will allow neutral light to highlight your subject's face, without any color casts. A gravel path is also a good option when shooting mid-day, as it is a nice neutral color that won't negatively affect the skin tones.
Tips from Holland Williams
Holland Williams is a self-taught, full time photographer in Birmingham, AL. She is a specialist in fine art, commercial photography, children's portraiture and interiors. Over the years, she has photographed everything from births to weddings. She has photographed beautiful homes and large corporations.
Over the past 12 years, I have learned a lot when it comes to photographing small children! However, children come in many different varieties, and there are no one size fits all rules when it comes to personality types. I find it beneficial to prepare children that are old enough to understand -- tell them they are going to play a few fun games with a friend (who happens to have a camera!). Have a reward or treat in mind for good behavior.
Don't bring toys or personal items that will have to be taken away. And most importantly, don't say "cheese," this will never get a natural smile!
Tips from Mary Catherine Brownfield
I would recommend to really think through wardrobe in advance! Coordinating outfits and softer palettes seem to photograph best. Taking time to find the perfect color harmony, style and accessories really makes a difference!
Fond of her work, we dedicated a whole article to her work - Read here
To learn more and take part in the Princess & Posie contest click here
To learn more about Shari Ford and book your portrait click here
To read more about Shari Ford’s working process click here