It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for another photography tips post. Last Wednesday I shared the best photo filter apps and before that it was tips on taking better iphone photos of your kids. This week it’s about taking photo’s of your kids who cannot sit still! I know from my own experience that Anya is constantly moving and the more I ask her to stay still, the more she jumps around while I’m trying to snap pictures. I also know I’m not alone because since starting my photography series, many of you have said the same and quite a few have asked for tips on how to take photos of moving kids. So today I share top 10 tips on photographing those fidgety kids by super talented photographer and mum of four – Abigail Fahey.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Abigail for a while – both on and offline. I was first drawn to her through her absolutely amazing family photography. Abigail’s style is distinctive and beautiful. All her pictures tell a story and really draw you in. I know my words are not doing justice to her photography but from the pictures below you’ll see exactly what I mean. I am so excited to have her here today sharing her photography secrets and handy tips to capture those kids that never sit still! Abigail’s tips are geared towards DSLR users however there are lots of tips in here which can be applied to any kind of camera you use including phone cameras. Now over to Abigail!
It wasn’t until my babies became toddlers that I truly realised how much ground they covered each day. My two sons in particular rarely sit still and are generally on the go from morning until night and sometimes even throughout the night! I tried hard at first to get them to pose and found it so frustrating when they would not sit still whilst I tried in vain to recreate some gorgeous shots I had seen online. I quickly realised that posing and fidgety children are not a happy match, so I decided that if I was to get any decent shots of my children I needed to embrace the action and just learn how to photograph them on the move. So here are my 10 tips for photographing fast moving children!
1. Don’t be a poser.
Kids don’t always cooperate so it’s best not to try too hard. Instead go for natural shots of them moving or interacting. If you want them to slow down, a great way of doing this is to give them an activity that focuses their attention in one place. Something like a board game, a toy, sitting them on a swing or simply asking them to find worms outside will do the trick.
2. Lets go outside.
The best way to maximise the amount of available light is to shoot outdoors. More light means faster shutter speed which means less blur.
3. Change your camera mode.
If you shoot in Auto then turn your settings to Sports mode and your camera will automatically increase it’s shutter speed in anticipation of an action shot. If you shoot in Semi Auto then turn the dial to Tv (shutter priority mode also marked as S on some cameras) and set your shutter speed at 1/500 or above. You may need to compensate by raising your ISO to get the correct exposure.
4. Be ready.
Keep your finger on the button and if possible use a continuous shooting mode. If you want an action shot then short bursts of the shutter will increase the chances of getting the shot you are after.
5. Anticipate the moment.
Look at the scene before you and get yourself into a position where you can concentrate on getting one good shot rather than chasing children around taking hundreds of pot luck ones.
7. Talk to the hand!
Not all photographs have to show a childs face. Often I will take shots of busy little hands or quick little feet. Or even photos showing the back of the child. These can be equally cute and take the pressure off having to get a shot with the right facial expression.
8. Use a zoom.
This will allow you to sit further away and take shots without interrupting their games or encroaching on their space. Children will quickly get fed up of a constant camera in their face and will start to react. If you can sit quietly some distance away and snap without them being too aware, you will achieve far more natural results.
9. Get creative.
Don’t panic if you get some blur. Occasionally blur in the photos emphasises the movement and makes for a more interesting shot. If you get some unwanted blur turn your photos to black and white; it’s amazing how much better they look.
10. Don’t miss out.
Remember to put the camera down occasionally and get involved. So often I have waited for the perfect shot only to miss the moment. Pick your time to take a worthwhile shot. For e.g. when you go to sports day as great as it is taking shots of your children running, the best ones are of their faces when they have completed their race and are full of pride. And better yet you were there cheering them on from the sidelines not squinting through the viewfinder.
Thank you Abigail for these great tips on how to take photos of moving kids. I look forward to experimenting with these tips and hopefully capturing some great motion shots. I especially found the tips of using a zoom and turning blurry photos to black and white very useful.
And don’t forget to check out my previous posts in this photography series. There’s a load of practical and useful information in them – how to photograph your kids using an iphone and the best photo filter apps out there.
*I’ve linked up to Honest Mum’s brilliant blog posts.