Obviously, I am a huge proponent of getting professional family photos by a photographer. But I fully recognize that there are plenty of memories in between those professional photo sessions that you’ll want to capture. And chances are the camera you’ll have most readily available at those times is the one on your phone. I also really value education in all forms, so a huge pillar of Crystal Berry Photography is educating folks on how to do things on their own. In that spirit, I’ve compiled five super easy things you can do to take better phone pictures of your kids!
Note that all of these photos were taken using my old iPhone 8 (definitely nothing special here!). None of these were edited, with the exception of the last image which was edited using the free version of Adobe Lightroom. If you’d like some specific recommendations for using the latest iPhone, check out this article.
- Change up your angle
- Get low
Often when taking photos of kids, we just grab our phones and take the picture from where we are. The problem is we’re usually quite a bit taller than the kids we’re photographing! Move your angle down to be at eye level with your kids to get more of their perspective.
- From above
For a really unique look, try taking a photo of your children from overhead. This gives an unexpected perspective and also helps to show the scene as a whole.
- Try a profile
Oftentimes, the default when taking photos of your kids is straight on. Try mixing it up with a profile. It’s not an angle that we photograph all the time, but it can really provide a fun way to show your kids in their element.
- Catch the action
I completely understand that anticipating your children’s actions can be almost at impossible at times! But this tip is for those times when your kids are doing something cute or funny repeatedly. For instance, when my daughter got new shoes, she kept jumping up and down and hopping from place to place. I wouldn’t have caught it the first time, but I could definitely anticipate the jump the next few times!
- Burst mode
A really simple way to make sure you catch the action when photographing kids is to use burst mode on your phone’s camera. For both Android and iPhone, all you need to do is hold the shutter button to take photos continuously. Then you can open up the set of images and choose your favorite. Easy peasy!
- Change your orientation
- Portrait → landscape
This is one of those things that we all do unconsciously when using our phones for pictures. We end up using our phone in portrait orientation (the photo is taller than it is wide) instead of landscape orientation (the photo is wider than it is tall). This isn’t necessarily bad, but portrait isn’t the best choice for every situation. A quick and easy way to level up phone pictures of your kids is to take a quick look at the surroundings to determine if landscape orientation would better show the scene.
- *bonus tip* use volume button
You might already know about this, but if you don’t, be prepared to have your mind blown. Sometimes it’s difficult to hit the shutter button on your phone when you’re holding it in landscape orientation. For those times, you can easily take the picture simply by pressing the “+” or “-” volume button on the side of your phone. Viola! No more fumbling to hit the right button! Note that this option is on by default for iPhone users, but may need to be enabled in your camera app settings if you use an Android phone.
- Be aware of lighting
- harsh shadows
While our phone cameras are getting better and better at balancing harsh lighting conditions, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the shadows in your image. Generally speaking, overcast or open shade lighting is the easiest for getting consistently lit images. Sometimes the solution for harsh lighting is as simple as moving your subject!
- turn off the flash
Trust me on this one. The flash never helps. Just turn it off completely.
- Edit with care
This isn’t as much of a specific tip as some of the others on this list, but it may be one of the most important! I know it can be really fun to play with all the filters that are out there, but I strongly suggest keeping your editing as natural as possible. Usually, just a little playing with the exposure, highlights, or shadows is enough to really make your image pop. If you’re looking to capture those everyday moments to admire them for the long haul, classic edits are key!
I hope these tips help you catch all those little moments in between the big events in the best way possible! When it’s time for a professional photo session, I’ll be here 😃