Father Apprentice posted a couple of “intro to photography” ways to take better pics of your kids, and in true 8BitDad fashion, we waited a week to let you know about it – and now we’re adding to it. Because that’s what we do: we lag, then attack. So, grab you camera and pull up a seat on the rainbow. We’re embarking on a magical journey that ends in you making your wife cry. And this time, it will be because you took a beautiful and frame-able photo of your kid.
1) Get level with your subject
Take a look through all the pictures that your Facebook friends post of their kids. What angle are they all from? Right, way-the-eff high up. One of the best pieces of advice I had read when I bought my camera was to get down to your baby’s level. If your kid is running through the park, get on your knees. If s/he’s crawling across your carpet, get on your belly on the carpet. Though sometimes, angles work for conveying height or distance, you’re going to find a greater sense of “connectivity” between the kid in the photo and the person viewing the photo if you physically “get down there” and shoot straight at them. You can’t always drop to the floor whenever you want to capture a moment, but you should try.
One thing to be wary of when army-crawling through a photo-op is the empty space above your subject’s head in the frame. Unless you’re a master at “rule of thirds” photography, you should fill your frame with your subject and eliminate weird empty space above and around them. Keep reading for the related fifth tip about zooming (and not zooming).
As a test, take a picture (even with your phone) of your kid playing on the floor while standing in front of him or her. Then, get down on the floor right where you’re standing and take the same picture. Bet you an imaginary buck that the one that’s down on “their level” looks better.
2) Know the difference between “good photos” and “fun pictures”
We all have fun taking a photo of our child and running it through every filter that Photoshop has to offer. And in the age of iPhone apps, it’s easier than ever to snap a pic of your kid, add sepia tone, retro film grain, a black scraggly border, and look at it like it’s a masterpiece. But it’s gone from being a photo to being a picture. And since your kid (probably) isn’t from those happy-go-lucky 1840’s, it doesn’t really make sense to make the photo look