Nicole Paulson taking pictures of kids
Photographer Nicole Paulson suggests getting down on

5 Things Not to Do When Taking Pictures of Your Kids

We know your little angel is adorable, but do you know how to take adorable pictures of your kids?

Our children’s childhoods are fleeting, but the images we make of them don’t have to be. In the age of digital photography, just about everyone has a camera around at any given moment, ready to capture the next adorable moment in their children’s lives. But the pictures don’t always turn out as well as they could.

Photographer Nicole Paulson has built her business by making beautiful, timeless images of children, and teaching parents how they can do it too.

Here Nicole offers a few tips on what not to do when taking pictures of your kids:
Don’t make kids say cheese. Keep things natural, their smile, or lack of smile, should reflect who they are and how they’re feeling at that moment, be it happy, excited, surprised, or even meditative.

Don’t use auto mode. Take the time to learn the manual controls on your camera so that you can use techniques like altering the depth of field for different photographic effects.

Tips for taking pictures of your kids from Nicole Paulson
These two photographs were taken moments apart at the same location. In the left image, the boy has a forced expression, there are harsh shadows on his face, and the photographer is standing above him. In the right image, the photographer gets down on his level, doesn’t force him to smile directly on the camera, and used the manual setting on the camera to open up the aperture creating a shallow depth of field. Photos © Nicole Paulson.

Don’t use the on-camera flash. Find natural light outside or near large windows for best results. And think about the time of day. Harsh noon sunshine will yield a harsh picture. Instead, try taking pictures in the morning or evening. Cloudy days work great for black and white photographs.

Don’t rush. Trying to force your kids into a quick photo session won’t be fun for anyone. Find a place where your kids will enjoy playing naturally, giving you the opportunity to slow down, think about the composition, the colors in your image, and the background. You’ll get better images and your kids will have more fun.

Don’t shoot from a parent’s perspective. Physically get down on their level, and metaphorically, try to see the world as they see it, and you’ll get images that better reflect who they are as unique individuals.

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