Around the holidays or any time of year, capturing memories by taking pictures of my kids is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m often less than satisfied with my photos. I use my phone, I use my point and shoot camera, and I even use my DSLR. I like some of my pictures most of the time.
If you’re like me, maybe you’ve wondered if there’s a magic trick or two to get those beautiful professional portraits you see of kids and families? I asked my friend Jon Anderson of Jon and Rach Photography in Arlington, Washington, if he could share some tips on how to take great photos of kids with any camera. Jon is a fun dad to three little girls, and with his lovely wife Rachel he’s made magic for families, grads, and brides with his beautiful photographs and easy, natural manner.
Jon recently took some photos of my twins. I’m still speechless — they’re wonderful and I’ll treasure them always. Here’s more from Jon about how you can take great photos of your kids, too.
(All photos courtesy of Jon Anderson.)
My father was a photographer. To this day I enjoy going home and pulling out albums and reminiscing on each special memory captured of my childhood. Being a photographer myself, I too am seeking to give this same gift to my children so that they can relive these fleeting moments.
I’m frequently asked for tips on taking children’s pictures. Here are five simple tips that will get you on your way to capturing beautiful, priceless moments of your ever-growing bundles of joy! Taking the time to go out with your children (and your camera!) will be moments that you will cherish forever.
1. Look for the light. Use it. Winter is upon us and as such, daylight is limited, if it appears at all. When you see the light, take your kids out in it. Sunlight this time of year, although rare, is so amazing when it does show it’s face! Light will also help your camera focus. A camera looks for contrasting elements when focusing.
2. Get down to their level. Not just literally (that too) but more importantly relate to them, read their character. e.g. say goofy things or act goofy, if that fits their character.
3. Get rid of the “cheese” smile. Find their natural smile (see tip 2). The classic “cheese” smile is so unnatural and everyone can tell it’s forced!
4. Relax. Kids relax when their parents relax. Set aside a specific time that is dedicated to you and your children. Turn off your phone!
5. Leave their element. Take your kids somewhere they haven’t been, and look for the light. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have. It’s always exciting after an outing to come home and sit down together and look through all of the memories that we made that day.
Jon Anderson is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Arlington, Washington, serving the greater Snohomish County area. He can be found at www.jonandrach.com
Thank you, Jon!
Jon’s editorial work makes some of my magazine articles look gorgeous, but here’s one of my very favorite Jon Anderson photos, a picture he took of my son at a nearby park. As a mom, I love photos of my kids that capture who they really are — this is my happy little boy, enjoying being outside.
Text and images are copyrighted material. All rights reserved.