How to take good outdoor pictures of your child in blooming flowers. 7 Tips for parents.
The current situation and the lockdown messed up many of our plans. I can’t release any dates for outdoor sessions, but it would be a real shame not to take advantage of the beautiful colors and blooming flowers around us. In Milton Keynes, where I live there are many beautiful spots, but I'm sure you will find an interesting place wherever you are. So, if you don’t want to waste this opportunity, grab your camera next time you go for a walk and play a pro photographer.
Here are a few important pieces of advice for you to follow if you want to be an author of some outstanding images.
1. Golden hour
There is a reason why photographers choose the golden hour for their outdoor sessions! That’s when the sun is really low and gives that warm, golden tones to your images. It means that the subject’s face can have both sunlight on their faces without squinting and shadows without part of their faces being completely dark. Strong light and harsh shadows can really ruin a photo, so choose the time of the day when the light is nice and soft. When is it? If you are a morning person it’s up to 1 hour after sunrise or 1-2 hours before sunset, if not.
2. Consider and plan the outfits
Clothing really does make a difference to the overall impact of the picture. Think about the style and colors. If you have more than one child, make sure that their outfits are coordinated. As always – avoid big logos, prints of their favorite characters no matter how cute they are and strong, fluorescent colors. Neutrals and soft tones are always best options! Don’t forget to brush their hair and wash their hands and face.
3. Choose the spot
While fields of flowers are better for smaller babies tress with low brunches may be better for a bit older and obviously taller children. Make sure you move around your subject. You will be surprised how the light will impact the feel of the photo and the variety of the images you can get from just one spot!
4. For mammas with babies - get down low
When you are down low and are at your baby’s eye level, not only you will get a more natural perspective, but you will also be able to capture a beautiful carpet of flowers around your little one. As an additional bonus, you will be able to see their expressions and little features.
5. Look for the best angle
When I work with my children I like to be on their eye levels or above BUT if I frame their faces only. If I was going to capture their full length from above, their posture would look disproportionate showing long torso and very short legs. You don’t want that! The low angle will make your subject taller but remember about proportions! You can tilt your camera up and down, left and right, and see how it impact the image.
6. Shallow deep of field
I personally like it if there is something “on the way” and beautiful bokeh behind the subject. As I don’t want to get too technical here, in the simplest words if you have an option to set your aperture manually, go for the lowest value like f1.4 or f2.8. If you don’t, move about 2-3 meters away from your subject and see what your camera can do; try to shoot from behind the flower or leaves, while having your focal point on the child. If there is a little branch, twig, or a flower on the ground - use it! Keep it in front of your lens in one hand, while holding a camera in the other. That way you will achieve a shallow deep of field and add mystery to your images.
7. Have fun and give it time
Of course, we all love happy smiley babies, but try to make it a fun experience for yourself and your child. Don’t be afraid to give your child a direction. Tell them to move closer, look away or place their hand wherever you want them to be. You can’t expect them to know how they look from your perspective, so just play pro and have fun!
Obviously not all children will listen and not all will stay in one place. I’m talking now to mums with babies - you must be prepared to move around. It’s good to occupy your baby, talk to them, interact with them, maybe sing one of their favorite songs from the distance to get their attention or just simply leave them alone and watch them doing their thing. You can capture some very special, candid photos showing your toddler’s personality, interest and abilities.
Just one last thing we all have to remember is that it takes time. You will not be happy with every image you take and sometimes you must wait for that perfect moment you want to capture. Be patient!
I hope you will enjoy putting these few tips into practice. Good luck and I’d love to see your results!