25 Family Photography Tips and Tricks Anyone Can Understand

You know how when a photographer gets excited about cameras, their normal speech starts to slur into this morphed jumble of numbers and f-stops and speeds, oh my? Just thinking about it makes me shutter (yes, photo pun intended). Well, I have some good news that will keep you from wanting to walk away as soon as you hear the word aperture. It’s really not as hard to understand as it seems – once you learn the basics you’ll be ready to start setting your own exposures (I swear!). I mean it, no more blurry images of your kids racing by or perfect shots that are just too dark after you’ve mastered these 25 Family Photography Tips and Tricks Anyone Can Understand…

  • Know Your Aperture 1 of 25
    Know Your Aperture
    The aperture regulates the amount of light passing through the lens. Wide aperture isolates subject like seen here. Small aperture expands range of focus aka deep depth of field.
    Find out more at The Pioneer Woman.
  • Understanding Shutter Speed 2 of 25
    Understanding Shutter Speed
    All the numbers can be confusing at first. Remember, shutter speed is measured in seconds or fractions of seconds. 1/1000 is way faster than 1/60. Use faster shutter speeds to get fast moving subjects in focus.
    Find out more at Digital Photography School.
  • Catch the Sunrise 3 of 25
    Catch the Sunrise
    You can catch beautiful soft light if you start snapping just as the sun is rising.
    Find out more at The Creative Mama.
  • Comfort is Key 4 of 25
    Comfort is Key
    Avoid giving a child too many directions at first. Let them get comfortable with the fact that they will be photographed and then start clicking away.
    Find out more at Elizabeth Halford Photography.
  • Photograph in Unexpected Places 5 of 25
    Photograph in Unexpected Places
    The supermarket may not seem like a place that is bursting with creativity, but you may be surprised by the unique shots you get.
    Check it out at Inspire Me Baby.
  • Place Subjects at Different Levels 6 of 25
    Place Subjects at Different Levels
    When getting a group shot, try placing your subjects at different levels to give the image more character.
    Find out more at It Works for Bobbi.
  • Focus on the Eyes 7 of 25
    Focus on the Eyes
    When photographing a person focus on getting their eyes nice and sharp for a crisp and clean look.
    Find out more at Fly Through Our Window.
  • Experiment With White Balance 8 of 25
    Experiment With White Balance
    Most digital cameras have a white balance setting. Experiment with it until you find a setting that is just right.
    Find out more at Moms with Cameras.
  • Mastering Flash 9 of 25
    Mastering Flash
    Take photos of the same subject using your flash at different angles. Use your surroundings like white walls to bounce light off of and onto the subject.
    Spotted at Prudent Baby.
  • Avoid 12 O’ Clock Shadows 10 of 25
    Avoid 12 O' Clock Shadows
    When the sun is at its brightest you can still get a great picture just capture your subject in a spot without harsh shadows.
    Find out more at The Creative Mama.
  • Siblings and Newborns 11 of 25
    Siblings and Newborns
    Consider laying the newborn on a cushion instead of having one of the siblings holding it. This is especially good for preschool aged big brothers and sisters.
    Find out more at Clickin Moms.
  • All About ISO 12 of 25
    All About ISO
    Remember, in a low lit room you typically want a high ISO and in a bright room a low ISO.
    Find out more at Somewhat Simple.
  • Special Props 13 of 25
    Special Props
    Use a fun and special prop especially when photographing kids.
    Check it out at Prudent Baby.
  • Keep a Reflector on Hand 14 of 25
    Keep a Reflector on Hand
    When you don't seem to have quite enough light on your subject use a reflector. A car windshield sunshade can also do the trick.
    Find out more at Savor Photography.
  • Shoot Towards the Sun 15 of 25
    Shoot Towards the Sun
    To add a dramatic effect, like creating a silhouette, you will want to shoot towards the sun. Sunsets and Sunrises tend to give off the perfect amount of light.
    Find out more at The Idea Room.
  • Play with Sunlight 16 of 25
    Play with Sunlight
    Use the sun flare to your advantage by moving your subject in different positions to get a bright glow.
    Find out more at A Beautiful Mess.
  • Creating a Lush Background 17 of 25
    Creating a Lush Background
    Since most of us do not have an open field in our backyard keep your eye out for small patches of grass and flowers. If you get low to photograph your subject the small patch will instantly look much bigger.
    Find out more at Clickin Moms.
  • When in Doubt, Shoot Raw 18 of 25
    When in Doubt, Shoot Raw
    When you change your camera to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG you record every bit of information from the sensor, which means you get the highest quality, best brights, better detail and overall better prints.
    Find out more at Photography Concentrate.
  • Fun and Colorful 19 of 25
    Fun and Colorful
    Try capturing moments full of bright colors and big smiles.
    Find out more at The Creative Mama.
  • Distraction Works Miracles 20 of 25
    Distraction Works Miracles
    A very young subject can often be too distracted by the camera to relax. Start pointing out objects in the room for them to look at to get your great shot.
    Find out more at Clickin Moms.
  • Use Your Surroundings 21 of 25
    Use Your Surroundings
    Keep your eye out for unique patterns in walls or nature to use as interesting backgrounds.
    Check it out at Lacy Davis Photography.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Ditch Color 22 of 25
    Don't be Afraid to Ditch Color
    Before you decide to shoot in color or black and white ask yourself if the image story will be improved with color. If it doesn't seem like a key factor you may find the moment is captured best in black and white.
    Find out more at Clickin Moms.
  • Be Patient 23 of 25
    Be Patient
    When photographing a 3-month old or younger know that you may have to wait a few hours before getting the perfect shot.
    Find out more at Clickin Moms.
  • Looking Out the Window 24 of 25
    Looking Out the Window
    When indoors ask your subject to look toward the window to get the soft sunlight on his/her face.
    Find out more at Prudent Baby.
  • Every Face Counts 25 of 25
    Every Face Counts
    Make sure that when you peek through the viewfinder you can see every smiling face clearly.
    Find out more at It Works for Bobbi.

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Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman) and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier DIY destination for crafty moms seeking ways to make their lives even more stylish and beautiful.


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