Hi there everyone! My name’s Mark and I run a site for photographers called Shotkit. I’m also a wedding photographer here in sunny Sydney, where I understand James and the team at Little Nomads are based too. Lucky us!
I’ve put together my top 6 tips for you to take better photos of your children whilst on your next holiday.
Little Nomads gives some great advice on what to do when you’re on your holidays with the little ones, so I wanted to compliment this with some tips on capturing all those special moments as best you can.
As a father of two, I know that having a big, bulky dSLR with me whilst trying to carry one of my kids or push the pram isn’t my idea of fun whilst on holiday! Instead, I’ll have one of these small mirrorless cameras on me, or just my trusty iPhone.
Parents often splash out on expensive cameras as soon as their kids are born, thinking that they need a dSLR or something fancy to take great photos. However, they soon realise that their new toy is too inconvenient to carry with them, especially when on holiday.
Whilst your mobile phone can take good photos in the right lighting, when the sun begins to set, you’ll need a ‘proper’ camera to capture some nice photos of the kids.
For those on a budget (all of us?!), here are some of the best cameras under $500 that I recommend. I can’t stress enough the importance of having an actual camera to capture all the wonderful memories of your kids. Don’t rely on your mobile, however tempting it is!
Most cameras these days have the ability to control the focus point manually, so stick the focus point right on the child’s eye as much as possible.
Eyes in a photo attract the viewer’s eye, and make the image instantly more alluring.
If you really want to make your child’s eyes stand out, try and get a ‘catch light’ in them. This can be achieved by ensuring there’s some light falling on your child’s face, and can really help the eyes come alive.
Try and take the majority of photos of your child at their eye level. This may mean bending down, or even laying on the floor.
If you’re photographing more than one child, try and make yourself the same height as the tallest child.
You can get creative with your compositions by getting lower than your child’s eye level and shooting upwards, making their size exaggerated.
Remember that with photography, the interesting images are always those that show the viewer something they haven’t seen before, or something from a view they don’t normally see.
Try and make sure your child’s face is the brightest thing in your photo whenever possible. As soon as you child’s face is brighter than the background, the viewer’s eye will be drawn to it.
This can be as simple as moving yourself until your angle puts a dark wall behind the child, rather than the bright sky.
If you’re using an iPhone, tap on your subject’s face, then lock the exposure of your image by holding your finger down until ‘af/ae lock’ appears on the screen. Now re-compose your shot, fine tune the exposure if necessary by sliding your finger upwards or downwards, and finally take the shot.
If you’ve ever wanted to create a picture of your kids that ‘pops’, without having to resort to expensive cameras and lenses, try this one tip which can really add three-dimensionality to your image.
If your camera has a ‘continuous’) mode, make sure you have it turned on the next time you’re on holiday with your kids.
Having the ability to hold your finger on the shutter button to fire off consecutive photos will maximise your chances of getting that one good shot!
Digital photos are essentially free, so don’t be afraid to take lots of them if you’re trying to get that one special moment. Kids are unpredictable and fast moving, so shooting lots of photos at once can help increase the odds of getting good shots.
Next time you’re taking a photo of your children, experiment with placing them off-centre in the frame. In other words, don’t always take the photo with your subject right in the middle of the picture.
One of the more popular rules of composition is the rule of thirds. By simply placing your child’s face on one of the imaginary lines that divide your frame into 3, you can create a more compelling image.
To do this, compose your photo with your subject in the middle and hold down your shutter button halfway to engage the autofocus. Then recompose your image, placing the subject on one of the imaginary ‘rule of thirds’ lines, and press the shutter button all the way down.
I hope you enjoyed these 6 tips for Little Nomads that I hope will help you get some great snaps on your next holiday with the kids. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my entire post on how to photograph children.
From one travelling Dad to another Dad - thank you Mark, for sharing your six power tips to help parents to take better photos on holidays with kids and capture those favourite vacation moments. Great to see you bring up the rule of thirds, which really can help compose a nice shot into an awesome photo. If any of our readers would like to see more helpful tips and ideas from Mark please feel free to leave your comments below. I can also recommend you check out Marks helpful website shotkit.com which also has his social media channels or grab one of his published books Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT.
Want to share your family travel tips and advice for taking better photos? Got questions about travelling with kids? Visit the FB private community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet other parents, and share your tips for taking holidays with kids!
Mark Condon, is a British wedding photographer based in Sydney with his family. Mark is the founder of Shotkit and author of the Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT.