Being a professional photographer, I often get asked this question “How can we take good photos of our own kids?”. So this Eid I wanted to share some of my tips for you guys to take better Eid photos.
1. Understanding Light
Photography is all about light. More than the camera, the key to taking good photos is the understanding and use of light. You can take a crappy photo with a big DSLR and bad lighting OR a great phone with just a smartphone and good lighting. Remember, it’s the light that makes or breaks a photo.
When I say, understanding light, I mean know where the light source is – that is where the light is coming from. If you have less light indoors…move outdoors or near the window or a door where the natural light can come from. And rememeber the light source should be behind you, falling on your child’s face. For this picture of my daughter Amna, I opened the main entrance door of our home (which brought natural light in) while I had my back towards the door. Whereas for the below picture of the boys, I had them stand at an angle, with light falling on them from the left side creating a little light and shadow effect.
2. Capture Candid Moments
As much as we all like to have that perfect family picture on Eid, it’s actually the unposed candid moments that truly capture the essence of Eid celebrations. I love taking the photos unnoticed and love to capture the real emotions like the photos below where the boys are getting Eidi from Mohsin and how Mohsin was making all the kids say “Adaab” to claim their Eidi.
3. Let Go Of Perfection!
Now I also know the struggle of getting that one perfect family photo to send to your family WhatsApp group or update your profile picture on Facebook but you know what? The kids don’t care or are too busy playing or are not willing to join in to take that photo. As a parent I know how frustrating that is.. you get stressed and angry and then the kids are upset and then the person clicking the photo says “Cheese” and you get a toothy fake smile in every single photo!
So the best solution to this is to let go of perfection… This photo below is after repeated shots but the boys wouldn’t take a proper photo. Hassan is making a weird face in this pic and Hamza is playing with his shirt. But this picture cracks me up every time I see it because this is our reality! This is us!
4. Be Goofy And Silly!
However, what could help take a good photo and avoid that toothy fake “Cheese” smile, is to crack jokes and be goofy while taking the photos. That will help them laugh naturally! When I am trying to take photos of my kids, we keep cracking Captain Underpants and fart jokes because that always cracks up the boys so much!
5. Try Reverse Psychology
Confession: Sometimes I do use the sibling rivalry angle and it does work! When the boys are not cooperating and don’t want to leave whatever they are doing to take a picture, I say “Okay, I’ll just take a photo with my beautiful daughter Amna” (who usually always cooperates)And as soon as I take a picture with her, the boys come running for a photo! (lol!) This photo of me and Amna was followed by the next one 🙂
6. Get Down To The Child’s Level
When taking photos of your small children, always try to get down to the same eye level as them. If you take the photo from your normal standing position, you’ll be looking down at the child and will get a distorted view of them from above.
7. Shoot In Burst Mode.
Don’t expect the kids to be stationary, for say more than 2 seconds! (True story). So shoot in burst mode (on your camera or your smartphone) and then you can select the best one from that burst of shots.
8. Pay Attention to Details
So many details on Eid.. get up close and pay attention to the little things.. capture the details.. the mehndi, the food, the choorian etc.
9. Let The Kids Be Themselves And Follow Their Lead
The best way to capture photos of kids is by letting them be, running, playing and having fun! Let them suggest what they want to do for a photo. In this picture below, the boys wanted to dab for a photo and why not!
10. Bribe With Lots Of Sweets! It’s Eid!
Something that I even let parents do in family shoots is to bribe the kids. Bribe them with candies, 10 min extra screen time or a toy they have been wanting to get for a long time.. It usually gets the job done! 🙂
And last but not the least… HAVE FUN!
Have a blessed Eid with your friends and family and capture the essence of all those celebrations!