22 July 2010

how-to photograph your child

by ginnie johnson of ginnie j. photography

To me there are two types of pictures:
First you have your posed pictures; which are beautiful and perfect.
Then you have your candid shots; the one’s that capture the essence of life and embodies the spirit of your subject.

Both types of pictures are great to have, but the images that I love and cherish the most are not the one’s with the perfect smile and the perfect head tilt with the perfect little outfit, but rather the one’s that were completely unscripted; the one’s that show my children doing what children do best- enjoying LIFE.

I absolutely love this picture of my daughter, Abrie. This picture speaks to me and makes me feel all kinds of happy. I love that I was able to capture this moment that embodies childhood- fun, carefree, & full of LIFE.

Quick tips for capturing the kiddo’s in your life:
            • Take a step back & put your zoom to work
Most kids are not a fan of a camera in their face. They have a tendency to hold back and act a little bit more reserved if there’s a camera invading their personal space. Just take a step back, watch your children play with your camera handy, practice you secret agent/spy skills, and let your zoom button (or your zoom lens) do all the work.
• Always keep you camera close by and easily accessible

Try a different perspective
•  Repeat after me, I will not count to three
We all say it, “Ready? Look at me & say cheese’ 1…2…3…(click)”. Counting to three defeats the purpose of getting those good candid shots. Don’t get me wrong, counting to three has its place and time, like when you’re in the grocery store and your child is throwing a massive tantrum over a box of Lucky Charms… “You better stop acting like you’ve been possessed by demons by the time I get to three or so help me…” You know, times like that.

You don’t have to have the best of the best & you don’t have to have the know how. All you need is a camera and an eye.
This picture was taken by my husband on a trip he took to Haiti. He’s not a photographer and he didn’t have a super fancy camera with him. All he had was our little Canon point and shoot and an eye for what he thought was beautiful. And this to me is beautiful & perfect. One of the best things about photography is that you get to decide what art is.
•  Drop it like it’s hot
Or ummm, rather get down on their level. You can lose the connection with your subject if you’re standing above them.

Perfectly imperfect

It’s funny how some of my favorite pictures of my children are the one’s that aren’t completely in focus or the one’s that aren’t angled just right. To me it’s just capturing life in motion. Sometimes mistakes make the best pictures.
• Capture the details
The toys the play with, their morning bed head, the dirt under their nails, their favorite blankie you have to pry out of their hands on laundry day… details are the thread of life.

            • Harsh lighting: Just say NO
Try your best to avoid harsh lighting & flashes. The goal is to get beautiful, realistic, and naturally lit images. If you’re outside and it’s a bright sunny day, try to find a shaded spot. Try to find natural reflectors such as buildings to bounce light on to your subject. If you’re inside find a well lit area or move close to a window to get as much natural lighting as you can.  
•  Take pictures, take them often & take a lot
Don’t just pull out the camera on special occasions like birthday’s and Christmas. Make a goal to take at least one picture a day. One of the joys about digital camera’s is you get to take as many as you want. So don’t be shy, click away.


Life is not posed- it is spontaneous & unscripted. It is fast paced & constantly moving and in a blink of an eye those passing moments become memories. So pull out your camera and capture it.


Hil said...

Such a great post! Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to pull my camera out today.

Lesa said...

Yes! I love this post. I'm happy to know that the imperfect photos I take are perfect for me.

Thanks for sharing.

Cat said...

I think my pictures could be a lot better and I keep blaming my camera (it doesn't clic fast enough)
These tips will help me take better pictures and appreciate the not so perfect ones I already have!

brooke said...

This post inspired me.

Austin Lovelys said...

Great advice! I totally agree :) Thanks for sharing your expertise! I loved your pictures!!

Nella Design Studio said...

great post..now where's my camera?

jozen said...

wow. amazing post.

going to take some photos of my girls right now... i think they are playing super heroes....

kate reymann said...

Thank you so much for this post. I read it this morning and immediately pulled out my camera.

Eva said...

What a great post! Such great advice! Wondeful photo's too!

kh said...

I love Ginnie J. She's one of my most fav photogs. Love this post!

2girlsandapoodle said...

very very awesome. thank you for the reminder to be free and capture the moments as they come. that's where life is.

Mr. & Mrs. H. said...

Oh, this is a very lovely post! i love all the photos that came with it. This how-to series of yours is really an amazing idea. I love it!

Rachel said...

Great post. You've inspired me to take at least one picture a day. Thank you for that! :)

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

I love Ginnie and her beautiful photography. I feel lucky to have been on the other side of her lense.

I'm loving the How-To series!

the mama monster said...

thanks for the great tips ginnie!and thanks for the great series marta!

ificould said...

Thanks for the tips.. it's really hard for me not to say "look at the camera". I WILL do better!

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