Hey there, mom-tographers! You are doing an awesome job taking pictures of your kids in their sweet, messy, growing up glory. But getting a great portrait shot of your child can be a real doozy. So I wrote down some of my tried and true photographer tips to make getting that shot a little easier.
1. Pick your timing wisely.
No matter what kind of photo you are taking, you need to prepare your child in order to get a good happy photo. This basically means making sure your child is fed and well-rested. I don’t recommend trying to squeeze it in right before bedtime or dinner time. That will only end in tears. For both of you. If it helps, schedule it into your day so that everyone is aware of when it is going to happen and everyone is mentally prepared.
2. Find good lighting.
Natural lighting is often the best choice when taking photos. If you are taking your portrait inside your house, pick a spot that has big windows so there is a lot of natural light coming in. If you’re taking your portraits outside then pick a spot where there is a good amount of natural light but it’s out of direct sunlight. You don’t want squinty eyes.
3. FInd a good background.
Pick a relatively neutral background. It doesn’t need to be a completely stark wall unless that is the look you are going for, but sitting nicely on a couch or standing in front of plants are other good options. Look for backgrounds that won’t distract from your subject.
4. Take multiple photos
Rarely, and I repeat, rarely, can you take one shot and get “the one.” Take lots and lots of different shots. Get some that are horizontal, vertical, and from different angles. Have your child make different faces: serious, silly, smiling and laughing. Take some in portrait mode on your iPhone if you have that feature. Spend just a few minutes taking photos. The more you have, the more likely you’ll find one that you love.
5. Edit in Lightroom
Find a couple of photos that you like from your little portrait session and edit them in the Adobe Lightroom app. Editing your photos will make a huge difference in how the photo turns out. Once you’ve uploaded your photos to the app, add my FREE preset (which you can access on this blog post) and basically, you’re done! Just adjust a couple of things and you’ll have a great portrait of your child.
Having some straight-on portraits of your children will capture how much they have changed over the years and their personality at that stage in life. When you book a session with me, I always take some time to capture a few single portraits of all the kids and of mom and dad. Also, portraits make really great presents for grandparents. Every Mother’s Day, I give my mom a new portrait of each of my kids. She loves having updated photos of them and it makes gift-giving a little easier. Win-win!