Mama, it’s time to get snapping and photograph some of the best moments over the Summer holidays. Our Sassy photographer Lidiya shares her top tips on how to capture them all.
Tip 1: It’s difficult to resist but stay strong and don’t ask your kids to look at the camera and say “Cheese” when trying to get a good photograph. This will only result in forced and cheesy (not surprisingly) smiles and the kids will soon be so bored with you and your camera that they will simply ignore you. Instead, step back, give them space and let the scene unfold. Keep your eyes open and camera ready. There is a lot of excitement when visiting a new place and so many chances to get unposed and genuine emotions. Just be prepared to capture them. You never know when your son will decide that he loves a tiger statue so much that he simply needs to cover it in kisses.
Tip 2: Keep moving. Go a few meters ahead or stay behind. Move to the left, move to the right, squat down or climb up. Don’t wait for the photos to come to you, go get them.
Tip 3: When you see a spot that you really like, place the kids there and give them something to do to keep them engaged. Don’t stop talking, ask questions and act silly if you need to. Ask them to tell each other a super secret and snap away. You will have beautiful pictures of your kids interacting naturally in front of the background you like. Prompt them with questions such as “Who can give the best hug?” “Can you give your sister the sweetest of your kisses?” Keep talking and don’t forget to get as many photos as possible. Not all of them will be masterpieces, but surely there will be many you will love.
Tip 4: Let’s talk about posing. Holding a pose is not comfortable. In fact, it is unnatural and feels awkward, so give your children something fun to do instead. Let them be kids – ask them to explore the place or check what’s behind a door, encourage them to hold hands and walk, run or jump (make sure the spot is safe). Running and jumping are always perfect ways to evoke happy and genuine smiles and that’s what we are after – capturing childhood at its best.
Tip 5: Watch your frame. Holiday spots are full of people and even though we don’t mind them generally as the crowd adds to the holiday feel of the place, we don’t necessarily need all those strangers in our pictures. Be patient and choose your spots. If you need to wait, wait for a less busy background before you get the shot. All these pictures were taken in Singapore on Chinese New Year when it was crazy busy, yet most of them feel like we had the spots to ourselves.
Tip 6: If you want to go a step further, try incorporating leading lines and framing to make your photos more interesting and draw the attention to your kids. Leading lines and frames are all around us, just keep your eyes open for them and use them creatively to make your images stronger.
Tip 7: Shoot to tell the story. Exploring a new place is so much fun. Capture it all. Step back to get the whole scene, then move closer to draw the attention to what is happening in front of the camera and then get even closer to capture the details.
Tip 8: Don’t forget to take some portraits. You don’t need your children to look at the camera to get a meaningful portrait. Steel sweet moments and freeze them in time. Years down the memory lane you will be happy you did so.
Tip 9: Take many photos but be considerate of your kids’ feelings, follow their lead and know when it is time to stop shooting.
Tip 10: Last but not least, don’t forget to pass the camera to your husband and get in the frame. You need to be in those pictures too, for you and for your kids!
All Images are by Lidiya Kalichuk