Photography How To’s, Tips, & Tricks
Hello Parents! We’ve partnered with a professional photographer to bring you easy-peasy photography how-to tips to help you document the very best, weirdest, laughter-inducing, must-remember at-home moments of this journey so you can jump right back to being the best tour guide on your baby’s exploration of their life.
Bonus! Professional Photographer Tip: Likely you're taking a million photos on your phone & even the best forget - before you start taking photos, wipe off both camera lenses (the selfie lense and the back lense) so you get a photo without the fuzz!
How-To Take a Great Photo From the Comfort of Your Home
As we stay close to home with our cameras in-sight and our little ones always at arms reach we have plenty of time to document every single breath our bundles of joy take from bubbles at bathtime to the curiosity playtime brings. These special moments deserve extra love (even if you’re capturing them from your phone!) Here are a few tips & tricks to get the best photos of your little ray-of-sunshine inside your home.
Even Lighting Makes Weird Shadows & Bright Spots Disappear
- Shoot with your back to the window and have your little one face you so the light is behind you and in front of them.
- The photo won’t be as clear and the exposure will be off balance if the light is behind the subject.
Tap the screen of your phone on the faces so your camera can calculate the best exposure levels for their skin tone by evening out the light around them.
Keep in mind, dark colored clothing will blow out your subject's face and make it extremely bright so tap on their face on your phone screen to adjust the exposure before taking the photo.
If your image appears with an orange tint or glow, turn off the artificial lights in your home and use the natural light pouring in from your windows.
If the room is bright and you have the option on your phone or camera, shoot in portrait mode.
How-To Use Portrait Mode
- If you have the option on your phone or camera, portrait mode is great for shooting in too bright or too dark rooms. When you tap the screen where your subject's face is located it automatically focuses perfectly on the subject and blurs the background to allow the subject to be front and center in balanced lighting.
- Portrait mode needs a little extra space to shoot in but don’t fret! The phone function will tell you when you have the correct amount of space between you and your subject.
Bonus! Professional Photographer Tip - Whether you’re in portrait mode or taking photos in regular mode always tap the subjects face to adjust the exposure levels.
How-To Zoom On Your Phone
Getting a close up shot can be tricky with your phone, either you’re too far away and you have to crop the picture of your little cutie or you zoom in and the shot turns out blurry - neither option is ideal so we chatted with professional photographer, Megan Welker, to find out what the best way is to get a close up of your kiddos (inside & outside!)
Use Your Feet to Zoom In
- Don’t use the zoom on your phone because it will make the image pixelated which gives the image that fuzzy look you won’t want to remember.
- Walk the camera or tripod closer to your subject instead so the image is clear while capturing the cuteness up close!
How-To Get a Great Shot From Your Backyard
While we spend this time at home we’re likely enjoying as much time as possible outside on our porches, in our backyards, or on our front lawns and if you’re anything like us you want to remember these close-to-home together-time moments with your little ones for decades to come. We understand that getting the perfect photo outside can be frustrating, it’s typically the only time you’ve ever cursed the sun for shining. Here are a few tips to take stress-free (near) perfectly-lit photos of you and your little ones in the wild.Open Shade:
- The best way to get a shadow-free photo outside is to find the line where the shade and the sun meet.
- Once you find that line, have your subjects stand or sit at the beginning of the shaded area closest to the line where the sun meets it. This will keep the shadows off your faces.
- The best time to get a photo outside is early in the morning as the sun rises & in the evening right before the sun starts to set so the sunlight isn’t as harsh.
- If you are taking a photo outside during the day while the light is harsh, practice taking photos the same way you would inside in front of a window.
- Have your subject face towards the sun and take the photo with the sun behind you and tap the screen to calculate the right exposure on their face.
How To Keep Your At-Home Family Quarantine Photo Stress-Free
While everyone is spending extra time at home it’s probably the best time to snap a few family portraits without any added fuss. While a professional shoot can be fun, nothing beats the comfort of your home and only having friendly, familiar faces around for your little ones. Keep it stress-free & jam-packed with marvelous memories for baby (and you!) with the following tips.
- Get everyone in the pic, parents included (it’s a family photo after all!) by using a TriPod either with a remote or set the self timer.
- Start the process with a few funny faces to loosen up the crew. No one wants a reminder of a stressful afternoon, keep the process light and fun. Perfection isn’t nearly as good of a memory as your shared laughs.
- Sometimes it’s easier to take a beat and play with your kiddos. You can keep the camera clicking with the burst function or a remote, but remember to keep your little ones (and your!) spirits up - candid shots almost always offer the best results.
Bonus! Professional Photographer Tip - Try not to take every photo with Instagram perfection in mind. Enjoy yourself and your little one as they explore their great big world. Take a few photos and jump back into the fun.
How To Take Photos with a TriPod
- Camera should be at eye level on the tripod.
- If the camera is too high you’ll look like little bugs, but if the angle is too low it will be unflattering (as we all know!), when the camera is at eye level on the TriPod it will look like someone is taking the photo and will appear more natural.
- Professional Photographer Approved TriPods (Phone TriPod, Selfie Stick Tripod) both have remotes that you can connect to your phone through BlueTooth! Click the button on the remote from almost anywhere and you’ll get a photo!
- No remote? Set the timer to 10 seconds and it will take a burst of images you and your family can treasure forever.
How-To Keep Your Older Littles Smiling
- Stay away from the phrase “Say Cheese!” Usually this phrase doesn’t create the winning smiles and looks forced. To get a more natural smile tell your kids to laugh or giggle or think of something funny - they might feel goofy at first but it will make you laugh and in turn make them genuinely laugh as well.
- It depends on your kids (you know them best!) - try reverse psychology by saying (in a lighthearted way) something along the lines of “Don’t you dare smile at me!” this usually gets them to smile or laugh.
- Remember that the photos you take you’ll want to look back on years later and smile fondly, if you’re not getting smiles and you’re feeling stressed don’t force the photo, move on, and try again later. You know that the most important memories are when your little ones are happy as clams so put down the camera and join in on their fun.
How To Help Your Budding Photographer Get Comfortable Behind the Camera
If you have an aspiring mini photographer in your midst, help them get comfortable behind the camera. Put a strong phone cover on and let your little one start exploring - likely they won’t break your phone or camera, and they’ll have a blast experiencing their world through a new lense & who knows? Maybe thirty years from now you’ll look back on the photos they take with smiles and laughter alongside your own professional photographer (them!)
Learn alongside them!
- As you explore your camera or phone functions walk them through the how-to’s as well.
- Help them practice the different functions by letting them “direct” your next family photo shoot or have them document a few day-to-day activities. They’ll love seeing the images magically appear in front of their eyes after clicking the button.
- Every photo won’t be perfect, but even the blurry pictures and images of the tops of your heads will bring joy and laughter to your families at-home life.