Taking photos of kids on holiday is so much more fun then those boring potrait shots where you never catch everyone smiling at the one time. On holiday kids are relaxed, you can get action shots, everyone is happy... Well sometimes. There are those challenging times where this post might just come in handy.
As parents, we want to take pictures of our children. It’s just a fact, no getting away from it. If you’ve ever so much as glanced at Facebook, you’ll also know that mums and dads like to share their snaps, whether it’s smiley toddler faces covered in chocolate or little ones waving at the audience from the latest school production.
It’s not just online either. Short on Christmas gift ideas for relatives? Easy peasy – just print your family photos, create a framed collage and tada! One thoughtful present for that tricky Aunt.
Whether you’re sharing online or off though, you’ll need to master a few of the basics if you’re going to produce pictures worthy of cherishing forever. The trouble is, that despite the very latest in technological developments, no one has yet designed a camera that can make a reluctant toddler actually look down the lens!
Fear not. We’ve got 5 top tips to help you take great pictures of your kids, even if they are a little camera shy.
Make the camera a normal part of daily life
The more regularly you take pictures, the more relaxed your children will feel about having a camera around. If you only ever take photographs on very special occasions, and make a big fuss of everyone looking smart, it’s going to be harder to capture your kids at their best.
Put your kids in charge
All kids love pretending to be grown-ups, so why not get them their own cheap or disposable camera, so they can take pictures too? This can be great fun on holidays, days out or when travelling, as when you look at the pictures afterwards you’ll get a fantastic child’s eye view of your travels. Your child will feel much happier about having their photo taken too if they understand how it works and can have a go themselves.
Master the action shot
Your photos don’t always have to resemble a Victorian family pose with everyone straight backed and faced. In fact, some of the loveliest pictures of children are taken when the child doesn’t even realise they are being photographed and are totally engrossed in something else, be it finger painting, reading or building a sandcastle on the beach. Being able to take pictures of your children at play will be easier if you’ve followed the first tip, and they are used to having the camera loitering in the background.
Make them laugh
Children are very easily entertained, and you can get some great shots if you can catch them off their guard and make them giggle. How about making a funny face or rude noise from behind the camera, or using a favourite toy to get their attention? This works well not just because it makes them smile, but also because it encourages them to turn and face the camera.
A last resort…
If all else fails, there’s always that age old parenting favourite, bribery. “Please darling, smile nicely for the camera and then you can have this chocolate button…”
Jo Middleton is a freelance writer, blogger and mum of two daughters, living in Bristol. Jo also writes the award-winning blog Slummy Single Mummy.