Those times when your kids are just being kids make for some of the most precious photos. There’s something about capturing those naturally playful, thoughtful or silly moments that are so different from posed photos. This post took me way longer than normal because I took a serious trip down memory lane to find images of my own kids. My most favorite shots are candid where they are just being themselves!
If you are looking to capture more candid shots of your children, here are a few tips that will help.
Tip 1: Get down to their level.
As adults, we’re always taking photos from our height, but if you really want to capture special shots of your child so that their emotions come through in the photos, you need to take the shot from their level. Sit, crouch, or lie down so that you’re at their eye level. I love how you can see my son’s concentration while he was putting those tracks together (and he spent HOURS doing that)!
Tip 2: Prepare for those candid shots
If you know that there’s a special event coming up or that today’s weather means your children will spend time indoors reading books and playing, have your camera ready because you never know when the perfect shot might present itself. It also helps to know your camera and its different shooting modes to increase the chances of capturing quality photos using the right settings. I snuck into my daughter’s room while she was sleeping because I knew she would wake up soon (and she was always in such a great mood waking up!).
Tip 3: Don’t aim for perfection
Candid shots aren’t meant to be perfect, they’re meant to capture everything about a certain moment so when one of those moments arise, snap away and find your favorite shot afterward. With this shot, I was pretty much begging my kids to look at me and “smile nice”. We all know that doesn’t go over well. I can’t remember what was said to get those faces, but this has been hanging in my living room as a 30×40 canvas for years now as one of my favorite moments!
Tip 4: Keep your distance
Sometimes the best candid shots need to be taken from a distance. Once your kids are aware that you’re taking photos, it can ruin the moment. It helps to have a zoom lens for these instances so that you can keep your distance but still get quality shots.
Tip 5: Lighting is everything
Natural light does wonders when it comes to achieving the best possible photos so try to capture shots of your children while they’re outside or in a room with lots of natural light. If possible, stay away from the harsh midday light and if that’s not an option, some shade should help soften the images. And get creative with the light! Try shooting with a bright window or the setting sun behind them to get some fun silhouette shots. Anything goes!
Capturing candid shots of your children allows you to relive those special moments time and time again and is a skill well worth mastering.