I think most people's instinct when taking a photo is to make sure that the subject is in the middle of the frame right? I used to take photos like that, and whilst they were still lovely and captured the moments just fine, by learning a few tricks I've learned to really capture emotion.
That isn't to say I don't sometimes shoot that way, but mostly I try out some alternative angles and end up with shots that truly capture a moment, ones that I'll look back on forever. It is all about retraining your eye, to see things in a slightly different perspective. Once you master that, you'll find it hard to take a photo in any other way!
Here are four different viewpoints that everyone can try out next time your shooting your little ones:
Now, I could have zoomed right out for this photo and captured the three of them centrally to the frame, but instead I focused on the person who is having the most fun and got down to their eye level. My youngest is the focus here, her eyes are looking directly at the camera and you really get a feel for how much fun she is having being pushed around in a wheelbarrow. By getting down to her level, by having her eyes as the focus, it changes the photo completely and you are sucked in.
I had so many photos as some examples for this one, but feet, especially toddler feet, are just the cutest! Sometimes you don't need to see a person's face, or even the whole picture, to sense the moment. This photo melts my heart every time I see her teeny feet and chubby legs swinging waiting for daddy. By getting down to activity level, whether that be welly boots jumping in a puddle or a child holding hands with their grandma, you capture the real emotion behind it. Less is more so to speak.
This can be similar to the above really, but whereas activity level can sometimes see you lying on your tummy capturing those first steps, close up can be at any level, not just where the activity is. This photo is zooming in to capture a look, a look of "yes please, I would love to have another chocolate from the tree" from my youngest. These are the best candid shots I think, captured from afar so as not to interfere with the moment.
Rule of thirds
Now this is probably one of my favourite ways to shoot. If you can image this photo is divided into something resembling a noughts and crosses board - the girls are in the bottom left section. I was crouched down low and made sure they were in focus and I was down at their level. Easy to do and it makes for a real powerful shot.
This is one of my all time favourite photos. A simple shot taken on my phone, but I love it. There is a slight rule of thirds going on here too but of course the main element is the birdseye shot of the two of us. I use this angle to capture the girls at play mostly and with another baby on the way I will be using to look down at him once he is here.
So there we have it, a few different angles and perspectives to bear in mind when taking your next photo. Have a play around with the frame, get down to the level that you want to focus on and see what a difference it makes to the final shot! And most importantly have fun!
Katy is a mama of two with another on the way. She blogs over at What Katy Said where she writes about family life, shares recipes and style tips as well as encouraging others to make the best of every day.