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We got award-winning photographer Annabel Williams to share her top 10 tips for taking great photographs of your children this summer...
We've got award-winning portrait photographer and mum, Annabel Williams to share her top 10 tips for taking great photographs of your children this summer.
1. Don't worry if they won't pose for you
Don't worry if your own children won't pose for you, it's because they're your children and they're used to you. Try swapping with your friend - let them photograph your kids and you photograph hers - you'll find they usually respond much better.
2. Keep changing the activity
Keep it short and simple - kids love doing different things and can get bored very quickly -keep changing what you to do make it fun, and try to change locations every 10 minutes.
3. Keep the background plain
Don't photograph kids against overpowering backgrounds, such as flowers and trees - use something neutral, like a painted door, brick wall, beach or something which is a long way away from them, out of focus, so the emphasis is on the child and not the background.
4. Make sure they're feeling up to it
Make sure kids are not hungry or tired before doing a shoot - you won't get good results if they're not feeling their best.
5. Don't photograph in direct sunlight
Try to photograph them in the shade so they don't squint in the sun - it's much better for their eyes and will produce more flattering results. If there's no shade - shoot into the sun, but take the exposure carefully from their face. Many digital cameras now have 'face recognition technology' which sounds complicated but actually means the camera just 'knows' where the faces are in the picture and exposes accordingly - it's worth every penny!
6. Create shade
If there's no shade on a beach or in a park for example - get someone to hold up a towel over them or get them to wear a hat to block the sun and create a soft shadow over them, which will produce a more flattering light.
Try using a zoom lens - you can get further away, and hopefully the kids won't notice you taking pictures, which will give a more more natural result.
8. Think about the background colours
Try and dress the kids in clothes which look good with the background - it will improve your pictures dramatically. Pink items look great against bright blue backgrounds; pastel colours look good in green fields and denim looks great in most places, particularly against industrial textured doors you'd find in a factory or town.
9. Promise them a treat for afterwards
Don't bribe your kids with sweets, they will only chew them and want to wade through the whole bag which will ruin your shots. Instead promise them a treat after they've posed for you.
10. Try and be inconspicuous
For best results, either shoot when they don't know you're shooting, (particularly good with under 5s) or if they are older (5+) get them totally involved and treat the whole session as a modelling game - pretend you're all going on a fashion shoot; plan the whole shoot with them, do their hair and clothes and they will love the whole experience.
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