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5 Easy tips to help you take sharper, more professional-looking images of your child 

by Laura Gordon || June 27, 2018

At Easyread, we love seeing pictures of your children reading! As a professional photographer and parent, I know how meaningful those pictures can be. Today, I wanted to offer 5 simple tips to help you take sharp, beautiful, more professional-looking images of your children.

1. Look for great light in your house, and use it for pictures!

Photography is all about good light. Unfortunately, most of us only remember to take pictures (especially reading pictures!) in the evenings, when the sun has set and our house is lit artificially. Unless you have an expensive camera or a high-end lens, it can be hard to take really beautiful images in a dark bedroom or a room that’s lit by light bulbs. That’s because Incandescent light is often less flattering and more yellow than daylight.

In order to get more beautiful indoor images, try taking pictures during the day near a window that has bright, indirect sunlight. When you select a room that is bright and well-lit, you can be sure you’ll get the most beautiful image, regardless of how fancy your camera is.

2. Tidy up your surroundings – and your children – before you hit that shutter button.

If you’re like me, then sometimes the house isn’t as clean and tidy as it could be. While I’m not someone who loses sleep over a messy playroom, I do recommend cleaning rooms up before you take pictures. When you have a clean space, it keeps the focus where it should be – on your child’s angelic face, not on the messy room that surrounds them.

The same is true for your child! Spending a few extra minutes combing stray hairs or cleaning a dirty face can go a long way to helping your create images you’ll cherish. That toothpaste on your son’s face is the last thing you or he are going to want to see when you look at that picture five years from now.

3. If you have a good camera, pull it out!

Most parents I know own a DSLR, which is a digital camera with interchangeable lenses. However, I find that the bulk of these cameras are sitting somewhere in a closet gathering dust. If you own a nice camera, get it out! Give it a little bit of time and use. A good camera with interchangeable lenses offers you the best possible chance to capture a really bright, high-quality image of your child. So if you own a digital SLR from the past 5 years, now is the time to use it!

While these cameras can render really beautiful images, even in automatic modes, the real magic happens when you start to play with your camera’s manual settings. To learn more about shooting with a camera in manual, check out helpful guides online, like this one.

4. Hold your camera steady.

Taking sharp pictures of children when they’re in motion is always a bit of challenge. However, if you’re getting motion blur when your child is sitting quietly, it means that the motion is coming from you!  Even a small movement of your hands can cause your images to be blurry.

One of the best things you can do to improve your images is to take measures so that your camera or phone is as steady as possible. If you’re using a DSLR for your images, make sure that you’re holding your DSLR correctly in order to limit the amount of movement in the camera when you push the shutter button. If you’re taking pictures with a phone, plant yourself in a solid position, and hold the phone with two hands. That way, you can help eliminate the likelihood that you move or your hands move while the picture is being taken.

5. Keep on clicking!

Sixteen years ago, when I started out in photography, I shot with an old Nikon FM, which required expensive film and expensive processing to get beautiful images. These days, digital technology has made photos virtually free. You can take as many pictures as you’d like, delete as many as you want, and you don’t have to spend an extra cent.

If you’re still learning to master your camera, or if you’re just using a phone camera, one of the best things you can do to ensure that you get great images is to take lots of them! Push yourself to get pictures from at least three different angles – try taking pictures from your child’s eye level, as well pictures above, below,  behind. New angles can give you a different perspective.

Unlike the days when film was the dominant medium, digital photography allows lots of opportunities to make cheap mistakes. You can always delete images once you’ve determined that they’re not what you want, but it’s impossible to improve a poor image once the moment has passed. So keep clicking!

Are these tips helpful? Be sure to share some of your favorite images of your child reading with us. At Easyread, we love to see pictures of your children reading – it is very gratifying for us! We want to see your most beautiful images and your success!