How to Take Amazing Snapshots of Your Kids

      I want to be able to take better snapshots of my kids, so I thought I’d ask my friend the WONDERFUL professional photographer for some tips.  She is Jasmine, owner of Mosey Photography.  
I’m not sure I even know enough to ask good questions, but here goes. 

1) When’s the best time of day to photograph your kids? For lighting. 

For outdoor shots, the best time of day is early morning and evening. If you shoot in the middle of the day outside the light is harsh, puts shadows across the eyes etc., or if you are trying to shoot under a tree you get a lot of dappled light/shadow which also distorts the face.
2) Should light be coming from behind, or in front, or to the side of them? 
This is where personal style and creativity comes into play… Have fun with this and experiment with what your favorite look is.  I generally like to have pretty natural soft light. But sometimes love to play with adding a sun flare into my shot to give a whimsical feel. 
3) Should the kids be posed, or natural?  
  BOTH!  Capture your children as they are. Though many of my shots look posed, most of them are just playing with kids, I get them to stand and play with me where I like the background etc.  This way I get shots (if the child relaxes enough) that look both posed and also natural. 
  For posed shots, try to make the child look and feel natural, don’t ask them to bend in weird positions because they will be making silly faces trying to “hold” the pose and they will look awkward in the shot.  
  For natural shots, just follow them around and shoot!
  I think one of the biggest mistakes parents make in trying to capture pictures of kids both at a portrait session with a professional photographer working and on their own getting snapshots is trying to have all the shots of their child looking at the camera smiling big and so they tend to “parent” during picture taking. 
This isn’t to say don’t fix their clothes or that big strand of hair covering their face, but also don’t constantly yell over the photographer telling your kid to do things either.  Relax… If you're relaxed your kiddo will be relaxed and enjoy the exploration and playtime that taking pictures should be!  It’s all about capturing life as it really is! (of course I am more of a lifestyle photographer when I’m working with young children)
4) Should you get down to their level to take the shot? Or from up above? Or from down below? What about angles? 
My general rule of thumb is everything except from below. I personally don’t like the look from below because it makes your child look bigger than they are, or it makes their feet look bigger than the rest of their body etc. Again this is up to personal style!  
When capturing shots from every other angle, as well as different distances from them you are able to capture and embody all of who they are in a series of portraits that you’ll look back on and admire! (yes even the goofy cheese shots) 
5) Is outdoor easier than indoor? Or vice versa? 
Outdoor is MUCH easier as long as it is done in the morning or evening, but indoor in a well lit area is great too! 
6) Any other helpful tips? 
  Pick the silly or even pouting poses too… Remember that photography isn’t about capturing perfection, it’s about capturing life.  My rule of thumb is “you can NEVER have too many pictures” 
  Our kids grow fast, our loved ones move away and pass away and we want to be sure to always have those precious portraits and snapshots around to cherish and remember. 
  AND… Don’t forget to include YOU in the pictures too…
Jasmine is the owner of Mosey Photography. You can see her work at http://moseyphotography.com/wp/ and her personal blog at http://moseyphotography.blogspot.com/

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