Hello lovely moms!
I hear all the times moms saying “it’s so hard to get a decent photo of my son/daughter”, “he keeps moving and makes silly faces”, “she is all blurry” . . . and many more!
Of course, they do! They are babies or children and they like to be busy, do things, have fun and don’t bother to look at mommy for a picture 🙂 Now taking photos of a little baby will be totally different from taking photos of your toddler. That’s a pretty challenging job, but you can do it! In this post, I just want to give you a few little tips on how to use your phone to document your baby’s life.
Nowadays most parents have nice fancy DSLR cameras and this is absolutely great but unless the camera is sitting on your table all the time, or is in your bag when you go out (which I doubt it) is kind of a bit useless, right? I am guilty myself of having the camera inside the camera bag in a corner and using it just on a special occasion! Come on, that’s normal 🙂
But I use daily my camera phone because I’ve got it with me all the times. We can be in playgrounds, on a train or bus, inside a shop, at home, in a cafe and I can document all those moments just because I have the phone in my pocket and that’s super awesome!
The power of a photo is taking you back to that moment that you can live it again in your memory. We all like sharing our child’s photos. We are having a coffee with a friend and you easily grab your phone, show a photo and start your story, right? “Oh look at this, Amy was so sweet, she was chasing the birds around the pond but that she saw the ice-cream van and she decided that an ice cream was most important than those birds”. We all do that, every image comes with a story and this is one of the reasons why I really love my job. I love telling stories.
Anyway, let’s share these tips!
I use an iPhone so I will talk about tricks with this phone but general rules apply for every phone I guess. The photos I will show here are all my daughter’s ones taken with different models of iPhone, from the old 3S onward. So yes some are not of great quality but we are after memories here.
You can’t have a good photo without light, this is key in photography. iPhone specifically needs good light even more.
Of course, there are times when you have to get the funny moment, expression and you just snap, but try to look for nice directional light.
If you are at home have your baby playing near a window where you don’t see these hot spots on the floor. If there are, just move the baby away and you will be fine. Or if you have a light curtain you can pull great! If you want to go a step forward take a white shower curtain on the window and you’ll have the softest and yummy light!
If you are outside, look for the shade. Of course, you are in a playground and that’s your baby’s first go on the swing you will snap it! Sun or not 🙂 But ideally, if you want to get nice even light on the face try to stay away from direct sun. We are lucky here in the UK, we don’t have much that problem anyway ahahaha. So leave the sun behind you when you are outside or on the side if you are inside. Here below my daughter on a perfectly cloudy day at the playground, a friend of her just sitting on the shade.
Flash? Please DON’T USE IT!! On the top left click on the flash icon and select OFF. The look of the flash on a camera phone is awful so please don’t use it. I can’t show you a photo with flash because I never use it but trust me when I say it’s not good. Turn it off today and your pictures will improve massively!
You can have great light in your home, just get next to a window. In both photos below there is a window on the side (you can clearly see the light in on the left in the first photo and on the right in the second one)
How cute is that picturebook reading to teddy and the fun you have when you wear colours’ lids. Two wonderful stories worth a snap! As a mum, I love both these photos and I still remember Amy’s happiness while playing with those lids!
GET DIFFERENT ANGLES
to tell a story. I know it’s pretty easy to see your baby being cute, or on the carpet playing or looking at a book and taking the camera and get that instant while you are standing. Try to get low at the same eye level, capture a detail maybe the hand or the foot, go over their head, try to have fun and experiment, the result is telling a little story. Not necessarily they have to look back at you. Actually, leave them doing what they are doing.
I’m not explaining everything here but in your next photos try to frame your baby. This is one aspect of composition but will give so much more impact to a picture. There are plenty of possibilities outside, shooting thought things, objects, playground are super great! Both images here below were taken in playgrounds: inside a tunnel and under a hut, I shot between the wooden posts.
Let the children, babies play and have fun! Don’t ask “say CHEESE” you will get horrible faked smiles. It’s okay if they don’t look at you, sometimes photos, where they look away from the camera, are much more powerful. Or try to get their attention being a bit silly and making them smiling for real. You know the best your child so I’m sure you know what can make him/her happy.
So for now this will do as general guidelines. I will suggest trying one at the time, so you can concentrate on it. So next time you go out to try to find places where you can frame your image, for example. Or look for that nice light in your house.
Practice, practice, practice.
So tip n.1 for shooting with iPhone, use the burst mode. Especially with toddlers and kids who move a thousand miles an hour keep your finger on the circle and eventually you will get a picture in focus 🙂 Burst mode = your best friend
Tip n.2 very useful if you are in a hurry and really need to take that moment but your phone is lock with a passcode. Don’t waste time to slide and unlock! On the bottom right there is the camera icon, slide that up and your camera is ready to go.
Tip n.3 when you are taking a photo tap on the subject to focus. That will help with focus and exposure. Next time I’ll give you a more advanced tip on this 😉
I think I will leave with these tips for now. There is plenty to try out and practice.
Please let me know what you struggle with and what you will need some help. I was thinking to cover in the next posts what to capture in different baby ages, more tips on how to get nice pictures. Of course, I’m open to suggestions so I might give you what you really want 🙂
Have a super weekend!
If you follow me on Instagram, you can see more tips and ideas in my stories and of course my latest work.