It's been a great day here at Daniel Simmons Photography! I checked my wife in on her flight back from England! She comes home tomorrow after 2 weeks away vising a dear friend and her kids. So, today's blog is all about how to take better pictures of your children. The idea popped into my head as I was taking some pictures of my cat! We've all taken pictures of our pets, lounging around the house, laying on the carpet in the sun (especially the cats!!!). Pets are family, too, and we like to capture them just as much as our kids sometimes! I see a lot of these on Facebook, and for the most part they look the same. Someone standing over their pet, hoping they look up or do something neat to photograph. But we know how pets are! I even took one like this, below.
Now, there isn't anything really wrong with this picture. Just a cat, laying in a spot of sunshine, like they like to do. She looked up at me, and I captured the moment. But, it could be better. It could have a little more character. Somehow I needed a better connection with my subject. Something had to change to make it more interesting, give it more of a WOW factor. So, I thought, why not lay on the floor and see how this changes things. Well, I was rewarded!
Immediately, I could see the difference. Standing above her, you can see her shadow behind her, but many of her features are lost due to the perspective. Laying on the ground, now I am on her plain. Now, I can see her as she sees everything. This is her "level" and where she is comfortable. The light is much better. Instead of casting a long shadow, it lights up her face in an interesting way and gives her more personality. I also focused on her face, and that brought up the exposure and made the background darker. This goes a long way to really separating her as the main point of focus for the picture.
The pictures captured below of her yawning would have been totally different had I just stood above and not changed my perspective. Simply by getting down lower and changing the angle of my camera to my subject, I was able to capture several pictures that have a much better WOW factor! A picture of a yawning cat from above is not very interesting, but taken front-on gives it more power and charm.
So, the next time you are taking pictures of your children, remember that sometimes you can get OK pictures standing where you are, but if you take the time to change your perspective on the scene, and get down to their level, you can capture some truly unique pictures! These pictures of my niece at the Crestview water park are a great example of how getting a little lower and taking pictures from your child's level can yield some great results!