10 Photo Ops for Kids This Spring
(photo by Heidi)
When the spring sunshine arrives, I can’t wait to spend time outdoors! I’m sure your family feels the same. While you’re out and about enjoying the activities this month, be sure to record these playful moments on camera. I’ve included some ideas for making the photos a little more creative as well. Enjoy the creativity they let you practice as you enhance your camera skills.
1. Swinging at a park. Rather than take a photo in front of your swinging child, lie on the ground just to the side of her swinging range (near the swing next to her), then snap a photo at her highest peak on the backward swing—the sky will be a brilliant blue behind her.
2. Playing on the monkey bars. Be daring—climb on top of the monkey bars and shoot your photo from above the monkey bars looking down. Or, stand at the opposite end of the monkey bars from where your child enters, and capture some of the bars in front of your child; this photo approach utilizes the idea of foreshortening (the monkey bars will appear larger and your child will appear smaller since he is nearer the vanishing point of the parallel lines created by the monkey bars).
3. Enjoying a water fight. Get the look of water squirting from a hose (or water gun) without risking damage to your camera if it gets wet. Simply step indoors, stand behind a glass door or window (preferably without any paneling) and have your child aim the hose at the door. Having to clean or dry the window will be worth the great photo (and the fun your child has while you take it). Then you can set your camera aside and head back outside to join the fun while knowing that you already have a great photo.
4. Playing in the sun. If you’re basking in the sunshine outdoors, add a fun twist to your photography by giving your child a pair of sunglasses to wear. The large smiles she’ll display while wearing her hip shades will result in fun photos that will always bring a smile to your face. It’s a simple trick that produces great results.
5. Flying a kite. Stand directly behind your child while he flies a kite. Look up at the kite from the height and angle that your child does. Capture a little bit of his head in the bottom corner of the photo, then let the kite fly up to the opposite corner of your photo.
6. Savoring a Popsicle. Set your camera on Portrait mode (look for the icon with a face). Have your child hold the Popsicle in front of her—as far as her arms reach. Let the camera focus on the Popsicle while your child’s face blurs slightly in the background—this technique will create a nice depth of field in your photo.
Tip: This technique also works well for photographing a child holding a spring flower instead of a Popsicle.
7. Spinning on a merry-go-round. To capture the speed and excitement of a merry-go-round, hop on the merry-go-round with your child. Brace yourself so you’ll be stable when the spinning begins, and secure your camera around your neck or wrist. Focus your camera on your child, and then take the picture after the spinning has begun. Because you’re moving at the same speed as your child, he will be in focus while the background will blur to show the speed at which you’re moving.
Tip: You can create a similar look in your own backyard. Have your child take hold of your non-camera hand and then spin around you while you spin in place. Since you’re still moving at the same speed, your child will be in focus while the grass blurs behind him.
8. Going down a slide. Sit on the ground directly in front of the slide, position your elbows on the slide and then aim upward as your child comes down. By photographing upward, you’ll cause the slide to appear larger than life in the photo—creating a sense that your child has conquered a Herculean height. Of course, you’ll need to be able to move quickly after taking the photo so your child doesn’t collide with your camera, but that can actually become part of the fun if you turn it into a game. Simply pretend to take the photo a couple times while “barely escaping” before your child reaches the bottom. On the third try, actually take the photo—by then, your child will be laughing at the thought of being able to reach you before you can move out of the way, which means you’ll be able to capture a great smile in your picture.
9. Playing hopscotch. Overcome the notion of thinking that your child’s face needs to be in every photo. Experiment with a new camera angle by cropping your child’s torso and head out of the viewfinder so that only her legs and the hopscotch design on the ground remain in the shot.
10. Jumping on a trampoline. Not all spring photos need to be taken in the sunshine. You can create a cool effect by photographing your child jumping on the trampoline against a brilliant sunset. If the child is between you and the sun, his body will appear as a silhouette, creating a stunning photo as you capture him in the air. To make sure you get the perfect “air” shot, set your camera on continuous-shooting mode or on Action mode (look for the icon of a running person)—these modes will allow you to take many photos quickly, increasing your chances of getting at least one good photo of your child high in the air. For more information on creating “silhouette” photos, check out this article by Candice Stringham.
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