As a parent, there is a constant stream of special events to attend, birthday parties, christenings, football matches and even the odd wedding, which means there are lots of great opportunities to take and share photos of our kids.
A lot of these events will be indoors and this can create some real photography challenges. To help you get the best images on the day, here are my top tips and tricks:
Jump right in!
The best photos from events and parties are often when you are right at the centre of the action. As a rule, I try to stay the same level as the children so it always looks like I am ‘in the photo’ rather than ‘standing over them’ taking the photos. I am most often found crouched down or sitting with my camera or phone.
You can create some especially lovely shots at children’s parties by joining in the action. For example, if the children are playing under a parachute, get under with them?
The photo below was taken whilst I was sat down cross-legged with the children, watching the birthday boy hold some fire! (This was a supervised science experiment, no children were harmed :))
Turn your flash off
When photographing the blowing out of the birthday candles, it’s important to turn your flash OFF on your camera or phone. If the flash fires, the entire image will light up and you can no longer see the candle flames. Instead, come a bit closer, and let the light from the candle light your image. Most modern cameras and even phones are now very good at low light photography, but just make sure to keep still when you take the shot so it doesn’t blur. Leaning your elbows on the table is a great way to stop the movement.
At children’s events, understandably there can be a lot going on in one image but one way to simplify a photo is to reduce the colours and make it black and white. Black and white images are simpler for your eyes to understand and great for showing detail. In these images you can see the static experiment on this boy’s hair and how hard the children are focusing on the spinning disc on the floor.
Shift your balance
In a lot of halls, churches and theatres you may find that your photos can come out looking very yellow, this is often down to the indoor lighting. To stop this happening, you can change your white balance. Most likely your camera (compact or DSLR) will be in AWB (auto white balance) so try changing it to Tungsten or fluorescent (see the image below for what these symbols will look like on your camera). For more information on how to change the white balance on your camera, try searching online using ‘changing white balance’ followed by your camera make and model. There are also a number of apps which now allow you to change the white balance on your camera phone.
I hope you find these hints and tips useful – let us know how you get on in the comments section below!