Friday, September 12, 2014

Toddler Photography

How should I photograph my children?

I was haunted by this question almost everyday! Lately, i've received so many e-mail and comments on Instagram asking about how to get my baby stay calm when i took her photo. Photographing my daughter is a real pain adventure, REALLY. She''s busy, she's fast, sometimes she's cranky, BUT all of that stuff is a piece of gold for me. I love capturing all of Naaya's movements. To answer all of your question, i thought i’d put together a few Toddler Photography tips which is based on my experience. I'm not an expert, seriously. I'm just a mother who love taking pictures of her daughter.

Happy Baby! – If you want to catch a baby at their best mood, try to time your photoshoot just after a nap or feeding. In the hour after eating or sleeping, toddler will smile and cooperate with your camera. For example, Naaya's most active hour is in the morning, after she had woken up. It is the perfect timing for me to get plenty of her cute pictures.

Shutter Speed – Keep an eye on the shutter speed on your camera is. This is the main key from all of her cutest pictures. Trust me, she's not the type of kid that will stay quiet while i'm taking her pictures. She keeps running around like a little fox, and she has been successful in making me look like the worst photographer in the world, who ran with so much sweat also with a messy hair. I try to keep it 1/200th of a second or faster if you can (if your kids are running fast maybe you can make it up to 1/500th or more) but if it’s too dark you can simply increase your ISO. Easy peasy.

Props Get your toddler’s favorite toys to play with during the shoot. I have teddy bears, some pearl necklaces, blocks, legos, rattles, and many more. It is all about distracting your toddler from running away.

Soap Bubbles – I call it magic. Soap bubbles are simply a must have accessory for toddler photography. Toddler loveeee them and are really happy to blow some bubbles. I bring it almost everywhere just in case i had to take her pictures somewhere. Totally works like a magic.

No more cheese – Embrace the essence of toddlerage. Stop saying "cheese", no more "show me your teeth" or "hey hey look at the camera!". You want to see their real expressions. Forget a big smiles with your toddler looking to the camera, just appreciate their natural movements with innocent expression.

Snap, snap, snap! – I always take LOTS of pictures. I didn't just sit there, waiting for her best moments. I just snap, snap, and snap! I change angles, then i take more pictures. I get closer, then get further away..... Well, i always have plenty of blurry pictures and it’s OK, because i'll ended up with lots of good pictures that are acceptably sharp.

Show them – Toddler love to see pictures of themselves. Everytime i took Naay's pictures, i always show her my camera viewfinder and what i have come up with. Since then, she always let me taking her pictures and she keeps giving me a new bunch of ideas to get more photos. (Sometimes, i give her my phone camera and let her take my pictures)

After all, toddler are just toddler. My last tips are just simply BE PATIENT. Some of them were happy, but some of them are just not happy having their picture taken at that particular moment in time. Do not force them, do not try to make them do something they don’t want to. Do not even yell at them. If a difficult situation occurs, you can try to take a break and leave the camera behind, and do a mummy cuddle, playtime or give your toddler a snack. Then you can try again after a few minutes. It is just that simple :)

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