How to Take Unforgettable Pictures of Your Child
By Carmen Shuey
If your house was burning down, what would you run to grab in the last few minutes before everything was gone? I know I would get my photo albums, and I’m sure you would too. Why are pictures so important? Without pictures, memory would be the only place to find your sons first baseball game or your daughters? first attempt at making a birthday cake, along with millions of other incredible moments that only happen once.
So I have put together some helpful tips on taking unique, quality pictures, as well as creative display ideas and storage. I will introduce you to easy way to play with pictures as well as print. As an additional feature to this article I have also written 101 Ways to Photography Your Baby. This article will help inspire you to take more pictures, and be more creative.
I use a digital camera for most of my photos for a couple good reasons. Price, you can take unlimited pictures for nothing – not a penny. Flexibility, digital cameras can be easily loaded onto most computers, making them easily printable, easy to e-mail and easy to doctor. (All of which I will cover later.)
If you don’t own a digital camera, and are not willing to invest (you can get a good one for a couple hundred bucks) you will need to invest in a large amount of film – but trust me its worth it, since your pictures will be priceless. To have excellent pictures you will need to take a lot, but in the end it will all be worth it. Not only will you enjoy taking pictures, your children will appreciate your efforts.
If you plan on using a digital camera, don’t hesitate to download Picasa for your pictures.? This program will allow you to doctor your pictures, save your picture, e-mail your pictures, add your pictures to a blog, and much more. Simply go to www.picasa.com and download the free program. Picasa is easy to use, even for the computer challenged and has a lot to offer. Take some time and play around to figure out how to use this program, you will be glad you did.
You will inevitably take random pictures at games, holidays and special events, but consider taking special pictures at least once a year (once a month when they are babies.) Set aside an hour, get out the digital and batteries, or a regular camera and film and be ready to take lots of pictures. Take a photo shoot of your beautiful child! The more pictures you take the more likely you are to get something amazing. If you simply let your child be him or herself as you take pictures you will catch moments that your wouldn’t if you were waiting for them. His/her most beautiful smile is only in between his/her dead stare and his/her cry! So catch all the emotions by simply taking pictures- the cost is minimal when you consider the beauty of what you are catching on film.
Let’s start with some photography basics: lighting, color and background. When it comes to lighting, natural is best. The sun provides better light than any flash ever will! The flash makes everyone’s skin look washed out, which is really undesirable-especially on your beautiful child.? Flash also puts shadows in unfavorable, unnatural places. So, you may be asking, how do I properly light my pictures? Sunlight is God’s flash. Try to take picture in areas that are well lit by sunshine; a doorway which is open to the yard, under minimum shade from a tree, or on the couch or bed under an open window. You will be amazed at how beautiful and natural your child will look in sunlight! But, if you happen to stumble upon a moment perfect for a picture- but not well lit, don’t hesitate. I will explain for to doctor up pictures later.
Color, this can be tricky. Although your child may look darling in the outfit with little dinosaurs all over it – his picture will look best in a plain blue shirt. In a couple years when you look back you won’t be looking at his outfit, but rather his facial features and size. Don’t let clothing be the focus of your photography – let your child be the center of attention. Same goes for background.
When you are considering the background for a picture-forget the background. No one looks at their baby pictures and says “Wow, what nice carpet” or “Look at the trees.” Your children will notice how they had more freckles or smaller ears! Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with your children – the picture is only too close if it is out of focus. This is easy to determine with a digital camera. Now don’t get me wrong, a picture of her holding her favorite toy, Wiggles the cat, or him next to the house he just built with Power House are classic. Just remember to get close, and focus on what’s important – your child and his/her memories! If you photograph your child learning from and enjoying a toy from my site, I will give you a coupon for 15% off your next purchase at CT Toys! As well as post that beautiful child for all to see (with your permission of course.)
Beyond taking good pictures you must consider printing, storage and display. You can purchase printers, ink and paper to print pictures at home, but I have found that sending them to an outsource company is much easier. Simply pick a company from Picasa’s offerings and sign up for their picture service. This is usually cheaper than you will be able to print them at home – and they are better quality.
Storing your digital pictures on your computer can take up quite a bit of space and slow your computer down. To avoid clutter, save your pictures onto a clearly labeled CD. For safety put these CDs in your safe deposit box at the bank or a fire safe box at home, than you won’t have to worry about running back inside for your pictures, should anything happen to your home!
Displaying your pictures is one of the many fun aspects of photography. You can always display them in a picture frame made of alphabet blocks available on this site, which spell out your child’s name, or an activity like first kite. This idea is inexpensive and cute, giving your pictures a real personality.
Another favorite of mine is hanging alphabet pictures. Simply hot glue each wooden block in your child’s name or another word onto a large nail that is already hammered half way into the wall. Than with pretty ribbon make loops and attach to the backside of each picture to a loop using tape or glue, than hang each looped picture from an alphabet block. This makes a simple and unique wall display you will love to show off.
You can also use Picasa to create collages. Simply select the pictures you want and hit the college button and Picasa will create a beautiful, eye pleasing college-which you can print (I recommend printing these as 8X10) Please continue to look back here for the best place to purchase educational toys, additional craft ideas and pictures displays.
- Black and white photos are classic and can really make your photographs stand out, don’t be afraid to try it
- Don’t hesitate to take lots of pictures, you will capture the best moments
- Digital cameras are the way to go, seriously consider this small investment
- Download Picasa NOW! Play with this program, it is amazing
- Consider a bi-monthly picture send outs. Gather a few of your favorites and send them via e-mail to your family and friends using Picasa. You can also tell them to come to www.cttoysonline.com to find out how to get their child’s picture on my website!
- Sign up for my newsletter and learn more about photographing your child and much, much more!
- Join my blog and talk about picture taking and much more!
About the Author
Carmen Shuey is the owner of CT Toys which specializes in toys and articles for babies and children.
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