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Simple Springtime Photo Tips

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5 simple springtime photo tips for capturing outdoor photos of the little people in your life this Spring!

Be sure to check out a few of our other favorite photography tips – Focusing Techniques, All About LensesISO, and Lighting.

With spring finally here and warm weather on its way, there’s nothing I love more than heading outside with my kids to take some photos! Here are five spring photography tips to help you capture your best moments this Spring.

Springtime Photo Tips

1. Choose your backdrop carefully- When shooting photos outdoors, beautiful backdrops are plentiful, but numerous distracting elements {think light poles, cars driving by, fences, etc.} can easily find their way into your photos too if you’re not careful. Capturing images that focus on the subject and tell the story you want them to tell, minus the distracting background elements, can be as simple as adjusting the angle you’re shooting from. Take the two photos above for example: The first photo not only captures the little boy’s fun personality on his bike, it also captures the lady walking in the background and the cars on the side of the road. It’s a good photo, but by adjusting the angle and zooming in slightly {standing a little bit above the subject} the street becomes a less-distracting backdrop and draws the focus directly on the little boy and his bike.

2. Find the best light – With the sun as your light source, shooting outdoors may require you to search out well lit areas around you in which to take photos. Photos taken in the bright sun cause harsh shadows, blown out colors and unflattering skin tones. Whenever I’m outdoors taking photos of my kids or anyone else for that matter, I’m always on the lookout for areas of open shade. Underneath a tree, a covered porch, in a garden with tall bushes + plants, or the shaded side of a building all make ideal picture taking spots!

3. Bring on the sun – Of course, when you’re taking photos of children outside, you don’t always have the option of moving your subject to the most ideally lit area. Capturing a moment when it happens means sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got. While shooting in the direct sun can be tricky it’s certainly not impossible with these quick tips:

  • Pay attention to the shadows on your subjects face. Positioning the sun behind or to the side of your subject will help eliminate squinting and some of those harsh shadows that can be caused by the bright sun.
  • You may need to adjust your camera settings to compensate for the bright background when the sun is behind/to the side of your subject. It may be necessary to ignore your camera’s default settings & adjust them slightly to overexpose the photo {make it brighter} if your subject comes out too dark. Read up in your camera manual to see if your camera allows you to manually adjust the exposure {see: exposure compensation.}
  • Sometimes you may need to use your flash to fill in shadows if the subject in your photo is underexposed {too dark} compared to the background. If you’re flash automatically fires in this type of situation, great. If not, read up in your camera manual to see if your camera allows you to set the flash to fire manually.

4. Be prepared- When taking photos of your children outdoors, a short list of tools & a little bit of planning can go a long way. I like to have everything ready ahead of time that I may need for photos to make the best use out of our picture taking time –

  • a fully charged camera battery
  • snacks or a drink
  • diaper wipes – for a messy face or runny nose
  • a small stool or chair –  a small/light weight stool that can easily be placed in the vehicle or even in the stroller when you leave the house is incredibly useful. Children can use the stool to sit on when the ground is dirty, you can stand on the stool to get a different camera angle & you can even get in a photo or two yourself by using the stool to place the camera on. {see photo above}

5. Make photos fun- Above all else, when taking photos of children outside, the number one thing to remember is to make it fun. Associating fun times with getting their photos taken is exactly what you want your children to do. Not only will they enjoy getting the photos taken but they will actually look forward to them the next time.

  • enjoy a special treat together after pictures
  • bring along a fun prop –  balloons, a bubble maker, etc.
  • hand the camera over to your child and let them play the photographer.
  • go on a photo scavenger hunt – choose a theme like colors, animals, plants, letters, etc. and go out in your community looking for objects to photograph that follow along with your theme. The kids will love it and you will too!

Wishing you all a fabulous Spring, have fun taking those photos! 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This post was originally written by Rebecca from Simple As That. It was updated in 2019. Rebecca is a wife and mother of four. She enjoys doing simple crafts, especially with her kids and is an avid scrapbooker and professional photographer. You can stop by her blog, Simple as That, where she writes about all of these things and plenty more!

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