Photography Tips for Parents: How to Get the Most Out of Your Camera

There’s a big misconception among amateur photographers that you need a fancy camera to get high-quality photos. That’s just not the case! You can capture beautiful photos of your kids and family with nothing more than your smartphone. You just need a few essential photography tips for parents that will help you along the way.

Photography Tips for Parents: How to Get the Most Out of Your Camera

Below are a few actionable steps you can take right now, today, to get better photos regardless of the type of camera you use.

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Get on their Level

Regardless of who you’re photographing, it’s important that you get on their level. This is particularly important for photos of children because their eye level is much different than yours.

Boy on swing

By squatting down, sitting down, or even lying down on the floor or the ground, you give viewers that child-like perspective. Not only does that make for a more compelling image, but it also gives you a better opportunity to show off your child’s eyes, face, and smile.

Use the Rule of Thirds

The most well-known photography rule is certainly applicable when you take photos of your family.

Smiling boy sitting on a path

When you use the rule of thirds, you divide the shot into nine equal-sized quadrants using two vertical and two horizontal lines. Many cameras – including smartphones – have a rule of thirds feature that allows you to superimpose the grid for easier composition.

Using the grid, try to align your subject with one of the four gridlines, or even better, at one of the four intersection points where the lines meet.

Girl in a blue dress on a couch

Doing so helps give the portrait much better visual balance by shifting the subject to the left or right of center (as seen in the previous two photos). This also puts the most important features of your family member – their eyes and face – at a critical spot in the shot.

Use a Tripod and Remote

One of the primary culprits of bad photos is that they simply aren’t sharp. And one of the primary reasons why photos are blurry is camera shake.

Camera shake occurs when the natural movements of your hands cause the camera to move as you take a photo. It’s a problem that even the most sure-handed of photographers face from time to time.

Camera on a tripod

But you can easily get around this problem by putting your camera on a tripod and using the camera’s timer function or a remote. Doing so means that you don’t have to touch your camera to get the shot, thereby negating the possibility of moving the camera while the shutter is open.

This is particularly helpful for indoor shooting when your camera will need a slower shutter speed to get a good exposure. It’s also handy for smartphone photos. That way you don’t have to tap the screen to take the shot, which can move the phone just enough to result in a less-than-sharp image.

Avoid the Flash

One of the worst things about cameras and smartphones is their built-in flash.

The light emitted from a built-in flash is bright and harsh, which washes out the subject and creates very harsh shadows due to the increased contrast. It’s just not a good look!

Girl at a window

Instead of relying on the flash in a dimly-lit area, put your subject next to a light source. Natural light coming through a window is an excellent option, as is simply putting the subject near a light source. Something as simple as a table lamp can do wonders!

Final Thoughts

Getting beautiful photos of your kids and family doesn’t require a huge investment in expensive photography gear.

Instead, if you follow simple photography tips for parents like those outlined above, you can play to the strengths of the camera you have and capture moments you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Mom and daughter taking a silly selfie

Work on composition, stabilize your camera with a tripod, and seek out good light to get better photos. Also take time to learn how to use your camera and explore resources like this to hone your photography skills. You might be surprised at how far a little know-how and practice will go!

What photography tips for parents would you share?

PhotographyTalk is an educational website dedicated to helping photographers of all skill levels achieve their potential. With thousands of free and premium photography tutorials, guidelines, and lessons, it’s a one-stop resource for empowering photographers. Since its inception in 2009, PhotographyTalk has built a following of millions of people, and has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

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