Have you ever found yourself scrolling through your social media and stopping on some pictures thinking "What a great shot!" or "Oh wow, that's such a nice image"? Would you like to know how you can dramatically improve your own images of your family without fancy filters or high end equipment? Forget all the technical stuff about exposure, shutter speed or depth of field. These are tips that anyone can easily incorporate into every day pictures.
There is often a misconception that good photography requires expensive equipment. This is not the case and is definitely not a requirement when it comes to mobile phone photography. Have you ever heard the saying "It's the person behind the lens, that determines the quality of the shot"?
By applying these simple tips below, you will be shooting like a pro in no time. If you feel yourself lining up a shot in autopilot mode, with the sense that you always shoot this way, remember at least tip 1 and you will start to see a big difference in your images.
Top 3 Tips: Mobile phone children photography.
1) The 3 Angles of Success
Their level: This is great for capturing eye contact, smiles and running with the action. Also try this technique when capturing a posed group shot,. Instead of standing up straight, drop down to one knee and capture all the fun on their level. If you are photographing a crawling baby, it will mean you have to lay on your tummy or sit low on the floor.
From above: Close up head shots and capturing over the shoulder activity shots are really good at this angle. Lay them down on the grass or in amongst the wild flowers and stand over them for fun head shots. When a child looks up towards a camera, they tend to open their eyes wider (unless you are standing with your back to the sun, try to avoid that or you will have a squinting face to photograph!).
If they are playing with a toy, stand in front of them and shot directly down focusing on their hands and the toy. This radically changes the perspective. If your camera allows it, when you focus on the toy the other parts will blur out, drawing your eyes to the focused part of the image.
From below: This angle is for those wishing to explore some creativity. Lay on the floor, or shoot from underneath if they are climbing up high. Whichever it is, just get down low and shoot up. Have fun with this one and really try to incorporate the environment or apparatus the children are in contact with.
2) Shoot the action.
Running, jumping, climbing, sliding, laughing, building, whatever it is, shooting the action makes a great picture. Through this type of shot you are telling a story of your child's development and the things they enjoyed whilst growing up. Remember your angles from tip 1 whilst doing this and you can really create some magic.
3) Frame within a frame.
This is something that is actually used quite a lot in movies. Standing back and shooting through a doorway, bushes or using the reflection of a mirror, creates depth and diversity, capturing peoples attention and holding it. You can get really creative with this, using the environment around you or adding in a prop that your child is interacting with.
This also works for those sneaky natural shots. Try shooting from down the hallway, on their level, through their bedroom door while they play peacefully. The aim is to have the child framed within the shot by something close to them, or to frame your lens closely and shoot through to your child.
Photographing your children is about capturing the life journey they are on. Who and what they interact with, what makes them happy, what makes them sad. Telling a story with pictures is so powerful and captivating. Break free from the norm and try out some of these techniques to up your mobile phone photography game. Don't be too hard on yourself though, try one tip at a time and play around with it. Slowly you will start to naturally change your angle, then you can start working on the other tips. Go wild and have fun. Children love to see the results on your screen when you have been playing 'Take a fun picture' game with them.
Feel free to post your shots in the comments below. I would love to see your pictures and hear your thoughts.
Go go trigger fingers!