Top 10 tips for capturing the early years of your child on camera

As a family photographer specialising in capturing real family life I often get asked for photography tips. We are so lucky to live in a time whereby we always have a camera on us. Use the following tips to get the most out of recording your life on your phone camera: 

1. Get to know the camera on your phone

Work out what the different camera modes do. Most phone cameras you can tap on your subject to fine tune the exposure and the focus, always do this, I do! Get to know how it performs in different light scenarios. If the light is low you will most likely get blurry pics, especially as kids are always moving… to combat this whack the flash on. Don’t shoot a photo with a filter on, you can always add it afterwards if needed. The beauty of a phone camera is that it’s light, instant and always available. You can instantly see what you are photographing so if you aren’t happy then change your position, mix up your composition, interact with your subject.

2. See the light and work with it

If you shoot into the light your subject will be underexposed and you could get a tasty silhouette if the composition is right. For simplicity's sake position yourself with the sun behind or to the side of you when taking the photo. If the sun is bright and very high in the sky in the sky then find some shade with some nice soft light.

3. Mix up your compositions

Move you feet to pull back and then pull in for tighter shots. Try positioning your subject in the corner of the frame in order to create negative space. Use the rule of thirds to position your subject within the frame. Use the architecture to lead into the frame. 

4. Get down on your child's level

Make sure you are interacting with the child so the moment feels genuine, even if you are orchestrating it, the photograph will look natural.  

5. Photograph all the inbetween moments as well as the big momentous ones

It’s these memories that are so evocative, photograph the details of your everyday life.

6. Edit the images on your phone

You can really elevate an image with a simple play with the contrast, exposure and saturation.  Most phones have this capability and even my 76 year old mum does it!!! 

7. Take lots of pictures

If something great is happening, like your child is being hilarious eating spaghetti for the first time then don’t just take one photo, photograph it from every angle.  At the end you could have 10 images to tell the story of that moment.  You could have details of mucky hands, face, pasta on the floor, wide shots of everyone laughing and then closer shots of all the family members enjoying the moment.

8. Experiment 

Switch up your camera angles, framing and backdrops. Try some action shots, try climbing a ladder, lying on the floor, work hard for the images.

9. Have fun!

Interact with the family as you are photographing them to ensure the energy is genuine.

10. Mix up the Poses

If you are doing a group shot then direct your subjects and mix up their poses, get creative.