Everyone knows that parents with young children love taking and sharing photos of them. Although there’s a big misconception that you need a big fancy professional camera with expensive lens to take great shots, this just isn’t the case. Here I will share three easy step by step tips on how to take great looking pictures of your children and family with any compact or SLR camera.
Firstly you will need to set the camera onto the portrait setting, usually depicted by a little head and should symbol on most cameras. What the camera will attempt to do because you have set it to this mode it blur the background while keeping the subject sharp to give real definition between your children and the background. The separation of subject and background will be amplified if you simply zoom the lens out. By simply zooming your cameras lens this does two things firstly it compresses the image so features such as noses, ears and eyes look more natural and less elongated. Secondly it will help define the separation of subject to background.
Rather than having your subject face into the sun have them look towards you with the sun hitting their hair to give a nice natural highlight.
Avoid shooting into the direct sun as this will confuse the camera and cause your subject to look underexposed or backlit. This just means they will look overly dark and you won’t be able to make out any detail in their face. Try taking your photos so the face of your subject is in the full shade with the sun possibly hitting the back of their hair as this can make for a very dramatic look. Late afternoon sun is the best time for this type of lighting and also If possible avoid shooting during full midday sun as this can create some very harsh skin tones, which can be hard to fix in Photoshop. Get it right in camera and spend less time in front of the computer.
If you have enough ambient light avoid using flash as this may wash out any natural skin tone and can create unwanted colour casts.
Once you zoom in it will automatically blur the background the bigger the zoom the bigger the blur.
Here I have some examples taken with a point and shoot $300 Canon Powershot compact camera using the methods just mentioned.
I hope this was informative and there were some useful tips that you took from it. If you have any follow up questions please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to awnser.