I don’t know about you, but I am constantly photographing my kids. I have a tough time NOT photographing their every move! They grow up so fast and I want to remember these times later in life, not only for myself, but for them! Photographing these small creatures doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Capturing them while they play is fun for all.
Finding the light
Natural light can really help you capture the emotions involved in the moment. Inside your home, you will find an array of light filtering in depending on the time of day. Here are a few tips as you learn to play with lighting:
If the light is too bright from a nearby window, hang a sheer white curtain over the window to help soften the light. Or grab your white shower curtain liner, that works too!
Encourage your kids to play near the light coming in the window. Move in a semi-circle around them capturing them from different angles.
I most often look for a soft light falling across their faces, but for a more dramatic image, stronger light will create stronger shadows and give you that drama you might be seeking.
Try putting your twins’ backs to the light, especially when outdoors, to get rim light over their hair. Or turn their eyes a bit toward the light to get a catch light in their eyes.
You will find that “golden hour glow” during the last hour before the sun sets, especially just as the sun dips behind the horizon. Shooting toward the sun might feel a little unnatural at first, but it gives remarkable results!
After the sun sets, try taking silhouettes of your kids! Meter your camera for the sky, or if using your smart phone, tap on the sun set and it will adjust so that your subject is dark, and the beautiful sky is shown. Capture your kids mid-air on a trampoline for a fun silhouette shot!
Getting the shot
Don’t stress too much when it comes to posing your twins. Getting them to sit still and say cheese is more work for both of you! And it doesn’t last long. Lifestyle photography is my jam because it records what goes on in our home, even when it’s messy and REAL.
As you watch your kids play, grab their attention occasionally by giggling and being silly with them. A natural smile comes just that way: naturally!
If you have a DSLR camera, a great starter lens is the 50mm 1.8. It’s less than $200 and if you open your aperture wide, you will get that creamy background in your images. Shoot a few feet back, shoot up close, and don’t forget the details! You’re telling a story with images.
Photographing your newborn twins? Lay a soft solid colored blanket down a few feet from your window providing your light (possibly a few layered blankets for softness), swaddle your babies, put a cute little hat on them, and snap away! Turn their faces 45 degrees from the window for the best lighting. Or snuggle them together in their crib and shoot above, or between the rails.
Are your kids playing in the mud? Capture their little dirty fingers and toes. Playing with bubbles? How high can they blow that bubble up in the air?? Hunt for some flowers and give them a smell! Playing these “games” with your kids is fun for both of you, and they won’t even notice you snapping their picture.
Have them “see what’s outside,” while you capture their reflection on the window.
Finally, don’t be fooled thinking I carry my big camera around with me everywhere I go. I use my smart phone all the time! The key is to look for the same pockets of light you would with a professional camera and encourage action shots. With your smart phone, you can still get up close and record those sweet moments. Photographing your twins while they play will truly be a a gift to your future self. Enjoy!
Amy Evans is a natural light photographer who specializes in child and family portraiture. She resides with her husband and four children in Chico, CA. She is a self-taught photographer who loves to play games and have a fun, casual time with her clients to achieve natural story-telling portraits. Her long-term goal is to work with special-needs children and families. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see her full portfolio.