“Taking photos of kids and babies is soooooo easy!” said no parent ever. Let’s face it, getting our little darlings to sit still for a photo session, smile at the camera while not having a tantrum is way tougher than finding a cute nursing bra or explaining the birds and the bees to a seven-year old… But before throwing in the towel and adding yet another blurry photo to your collection, here are some easy photography tips for families that we’ve picked up on over the years…
Your smartphone is everything
Thanks to technology, our smartphones are equipped with lenses that could rival a basic DSLR. The best part– we can easily stash them in diaper bags and pockets. Because they’re so handy, it’s easy to snap away and capture those spontaneous moments (and those moments usually make the best photos), even when the kids aren’t looking. Just delete the ones you don’t like later on (or if you are like us leave 80,000 rubbish photos clogging up your storage!).
Get your subject to look at (or near!) the camera – an extra pair of hands is a bonus
Take it from us, getting a baby or a toddler to look at a camera on command is near impossible. An easy way to grab their attention is to make funny noises (we recommend high-pitched squealing for babies!) or use a squeaky toy or rattle. Enlist the help of a friend/family member/passer-by and get them to stand behind you and try and get the small person’s attention. You may even get a priceless toothless smile! Poses turned slightly away from the camera also make for some gorgeous shots (and may prove easier!).
Make like a tiny human and get on their level
Think about it: wouldn’t you be scared if you had someone twice your size looking down on you? A great way to make kids feel comfortable in front of a camera is to kneel down so that you’re on their level. Kids will feel more relaxed, which in turn will make your photos look more natural. Getting on your knees also gives you a better angle, resulting in a more interesting backdrop. It’s amazing what you can see from down there!
Let them play
Let’s face it, posed pictures of kids (if you can get them to sit still) rarely work, and can sometimes look off-kilter. Our tip? Take pictures of them doing what they love most: playing! Sliding down a hill, throwing a ball in the air, blowing bubbles, splashing in the ocean all make lovely backdrops for a happy looking photo.
Take pictures of EVERYTHING
A great picture doesn’t have to have perfect lighting or a jaw-dropping background. Photograph the things you’d like to remember for when your little ones aren’t so little anymore. Bath time, playing with friends at the playground, blowing raspberries on tummies and, of course, birthdays (smash cake photos are obligatory!) are all key. The more photos the take, the more fodder you’ll have for when the birthdays roll into teen years and you feel the need for payback…
Make them laugh
Ask a kid to say “Cheese!” and the last thing you’ll get is a natural looking smile (and probably no smile at all). Get them to say something silly that rhymes with cheese instead: “ Dog fleas! Booger cookies! Slimy peas!” You’ll eventually get a smile and probably some giggles too. And if all fails, you can always tell a joke about smells. Fail proof.
Although kids are notoriously difficult to photograph, never give up on the money shot. Remember, the best thing about taking photos of your munchkins is that it’s all about having fun. Cracking jokes, making funny noises, playing, doing their favourite things… capture the moments that make them (and you) smile. By following these tips, we guarantee that your next family photo session will be (mostly) tear-free. And if all else fails, enlist the professional help of one of these awesome Singapore-based photographers!
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
How to have the perfect day in the Botanic Gardens
How to get your kid into modelling or acting in Singapore
Singapore scenes: Chinatown in photos
We chat to one of Singapore’s coolest mums, photographer Jana Yar