I get asked this question pretty frequently, and to be honest I’m always flattered and honored to give any tips and tricks that I can.
Take a LOT of pictures
Most of my favorite photos are the “in-between” shots. Even while setting up a portrait session, I try to continuously shoot allowing me to get those genuine moments. This is the most common time to capture the personality pictures. It works great as the kids get older because we’re programmed to have the “school picture smile” and when you catch them off guard they can really be themselves. By capturing all of these pictures, you’ll fill up your memory card rather quickly, but it’s well worth it.
Get on their level
If you have a younger child/toddler/infant, it’s important to be at eye level to get genuine candid moments. If you’re photographing an infant or newborn I also try to avoid the “up the nose” shot as I find myself deleting 99% of these during the editing process.
Avoid using flash
As most of my customers know, I stay away from flash as much as possible. I do this because most flash units need to recycle (the reload process), if not used at the proper angle it can create hard and unwanted shadows, and of course I pride myself of natural photography which also means I like to retain the colors and lighting of the location. If you’re constantly waiting for your flash to reset, or fumbling with settings to avoid washing out the skin tones, you’ll miss many of those “in-between” photos.
Have a good camera
This doesn’t mean you need a professional grade camera with a pro lens… but does mean you should have a decent camera on hand. Many $100-$200 dollar range digital cameras offer a great affordable solution because of their resolution sizes, color balance, and lighting. In fact some of the common iPhones and other various smart phones offer great cameras which allow for decent resolution if you have the picture perfect moment and want to make a large format print.
As I previously said, all of these are just a few tips I like to photograph by, but at the end of the day photography is an art and you should always experiment with angles, lighting, location, etc. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me!