The key to making great pictures of your kids? Keep a camera at the ready at all times. Find a place in the home, a counter or a shelf, somewhere where your children can’t reach. Then, don’t forget to use it. Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s too easy to use your camera phone. But who really wants those pictures to be a testiment to their childhood?
Will they ever be printed, much less remembered? Unless you’re like me, and you archive your camera phone images on a regularly basis, probably not. So use your camera, that’s the first thing. Second thing, engage your children on their turf and always ask them permission before you take a picture. I’ve included here examples. The top photograph was made while the kids were playing outside. I asked to play with them and I brought my camera with me. Together, we made a game of covering ourselves up with leaves and the result was this wonderful image. They really look alive, don’t they? In the second image, left, Harper was wearing a paper crown that he had made in music class. I asked permission to take his picture and because I asked first I was able to position him in front of a lit window and make several frames. All I had to do then was to wait for the right expression. The final image is the classic case of show-and-tell. My children are constantly wanting to show me things. Here, Abby had presented this wonderful card to me and Mom. Then I suggested that she “show it” to the camera. Whala! Instant photograph for the ages. So, don’t be afraid to use your real camera, spend quality time with your children and always ask their permission first. (That’s the best way to get them to hold still:) Happy shooting! — Sean