Withe 2 big events on our family calendar this year, my daughter’s First Communion and my oldest son’s high school graduation, I’m learning how to take even better pictures of my kids, and skip the formal school portraits.
One of the school expenses I opt out of for my children are individual school pictures. I don’t mind buying their class pictures because I want them to have the same record of growing up with their classmates that I did.
However, I’ve decided to stop buying the individual portraits. The minimum package is $18 which consists of an 8 x 10, 2 5 x 7’s, and a number of 3 x 5’s and wallet size photos. I always end up with a few photos left over.
Technically, the quality of the pictures is generally good, and yet, my kids always have a goofy smile on their face. I never see a genuine grin. Nothing that truly shows their personality.
Instead, I use my digital camera, a Canon EOS 50D DSLR Camera, to take lots of pictures throughout the year. Sometimes I pose my children if they’re in the right mood. Usually, I just snap away and see what I get later.
Tips for taking pictures
- Use natural light rather than flash.
- Take pictures outside in the shade. Make sure the shade isn’t dappled with sunlight to prevent spots of sun on your child’s face.
- Set up a white sheet as a background in your garage with the overhead door open to allow indirect natural light.
- Don’t be afraid of the sun; just recognize that the highlights and shades will have greater contrast.
- Take lots of pictures. Just keep shooting.
- Take your kids to a new setting.
- Get down on their level.
- Try shooting from below.
- Ask them for ideas.
- Always crop as much as you can while taking the picture.
- Don’t always center your child.
Editing and Printing
- I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 to edit my photos.
- When I print my photos, I use Winkflash. Other online companies include Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Arts Cow. All run various deals throughout the year for new customers and current customers.
- Recently, I learned that mpix.com offers Lustre coating, something used by professional photographers when printing photos. Costco also offers this service to their members.