1. Read your manual.
- If your manual is gone, Google your camera model and “manual”. You may find a PDF.
- Turn off the flash.
- Try to avoid using it whenever possible. Rely on natural light.
- Learn about white balance.
- Look up white balance settings in your camera manual and experiment. Interiors tend to be warm; shade outdoors is cool.
- Learn the Aperture and Shutter Priority Settings.
- Want to focus on the child’s face and a blurry background:
- use an aperture of 2.8 in the AV/A setting. Make sure your shutter speed stays at 1/60th or higher.
- Trying to freeze action? Go to shutter priority mode (TV or S) and set it to at least 1/250th of a second.
- Experiment to get used to changing settings.
- ISO or speed.
- The more light you have the lower the number can be (100 or 200 is great for daytime outdoors). In lower light you can go higher but increase the risk of noise.
2. Find the light.
- Inside the house, get near a window.
- Outside, avoid direct sunlight. Find some shade and take photos there.
- Hold your hand up and turn around; observe how the light changes (or doesn't) in an area.
- Position your subject in the spot where you get some light but some shadows too.
3. Check out the background.
- Before you snap, make sure there are no distracting objects in the background.
- Look for blank walls, shady foliage, interesting textures.
4. Get close. Closer.
- Move in close and let your subject fill the viewfinder
- (although with a point & shoot you probably don’t want to get any closer than the length of your arm)
5. Get low. Or high.
- Change your perspective and shoot from below, or from straight down.
6. It’s in the details.
- In addition to photographing the kids, take pictures of the surroundings and details.
7. Take a lot of photos. But be selective.
- Delete the ones that are out of focus, way under- or overexposed, duplicates, etc.
- Save a handful of the good ones and back them up.
8. Fart. Or pretend to.
- Stop saying “smile” and “cheese”; you won’t get real expressions.
- Engage your child and ask questions. Be silly.
- Direct younger kids (make a mean face! make a sad face!); older kids are can come up with their own ideas.
- Keep snapping after the crazy face is over.
9. Hand it over.
- Get in some photos with your kids.
- Trade off with a friend and each take pictures for the other.
10. Use your images.
- Back them up, then print them out, hang them up, make cards and books, give gifts! Inspire yourself!