Your children aren’t really cooperating when you ask them to sit down and smile at the camera, are they? I’ll tell you a secret… Most kids aren’t. Even during my photo shoots, the little ones rarely will do that. Why? Cause it’s just not fun!
Taking a (sharp) portrait of your children looking and smiling at the camera can be really REALLY HARD. The more children you have, the harder it gets. Bribes work quite well, but even then, I’m not sure how natural their smiles will be.
The next option you have is to take photographs of your children while they’re playing or on the move BUT it can be very difficult to capture the focus when your child is moving. Even when they’re not moving that much, it’s a real struggle to get a sharp photograph. WHY?
Why Are Your Photographs Blurry?
First of all, there are 2 types of blur: Out-of-focus blur (the focus of the photograph isn’t on your subject) and Motion blur (which is usually what happens when photographing children). If you are struggling with focusing on your subject (whether on phone or DSLR), you need to practice this skill. If you’re struggling with Motion blur, keep reading…
There are a few factors that will contribute to the quality and sharpness of a photograph:
- Movement of the subject (children & pets especially)
- Movement of the photographer
- Quality of the camera (phone, DSLR…)
- Camera settings (The exposure triangle = ISO, aperture and shutter speed)
Let’s consider the worst-case scenario: you are trying to photograph a moving child in a poorly lit room with a phone camera. I have been in this situation and there is no way I am going to get a sharp image!
What Can You do to Take Better Photographs?
The good news is that you do not need to get a professional camera to take sharp photographs. Of course, if you have been hired to photograph a wedding, it’s important to have the right camera and lenses for the job. Photographing the bride coming down the aisle in a dark church require proper equipment.
However, you can keep photographing your children with your phone or entry-level DSLR and get good results.
The tips below are simple ways you can improve your photographs and have a higher rate of sharp photographs vs blurry ones. You can obviously combine all the tips!
- Get more light. The more light you have available, the more chances you have to get a sharp photograph. Outdoor is best, but you can also photograph your children by a window at home. Even with a phone camera and a moving child, you should be able to get sharp photographs if the amount of light is good.
- Use flash. Flash is a great way to get sharp photographs indoor. However, the result isn’t always pretty (white faces, red eyes, change of atmosphere…).
- Wait until the subject is still. Depending on what you are trying to capture, you can wait until your subject is still to take the photo.
- Don’t move. If you are moving while trying to take a photograph, this will also result in motion blur.
- Buy a better camera. If you like to photograph the everyday moments of your children inside your home, chances are that the light won’t always be enough for your phone. If you tried all the other tips and still can’t get sharp images, it might be time to upgrade your gear to the next level.
- Learn to use your camera. Maybe you already have a good camera but never got around to learning the settings. You can choose to use the AUTO mode, but knowing how ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed affect your photographs will help you take better photographs.
- Hire a pro. Ok, a little self promotion here….you can also just hire me to photograph your kiddos and fam. I’ve been a photographer for over 25 years and know how to nail my focus so give me a call and I’ll take care of you! You can reach me at 828-230-1462 or LINNAE DESIGNS.