How to take better photos of your children this summer – Tip #3

The last two tips explained how to find the best light and the right background for your photos, and this week I’m going to tell you all about composition and how to frame your children within the image to have the most impact. I could write tons about this subject but I promise I’ll keep it nice and simple!

There are no real rights or wrongs when it comes to composition as it’s completely subjective, but there are some tips to bear in mind which will make a huge difference to your photos. 

Many people believe that everything should be centred in the frame. Now there is nothing wrong with this but it can result in quite dull, un-inspiring images! You may well have heard of the rule of thirds but aren’t sure how to apply it when your taking photos. Well, it’s very simple. 

Imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. 

This gives you four ‘lines’ that are useful positions for important elements in your photo. You should aim to position eyes along the top line like in the image below.

And if you are taking a wide-angle shot of your child then you should position them on one of the 4 places where the lines cross, like the image below. 

By keeping this in mind when you shoot, your images will look much more dynamic and interesting than just sticking your child bang in the centre of the photo. 

Now obviously rules are made to be broken; but it will make you a much better photographer if you know you are breaking them before you do so!

Sometimes the subjects just have to be centred…

And occasionally it works to completely throw the rule book out of the window!

And make sure that you add some variety to your photos and don’t just stick to the same old images all of the time.

For example, don’t be afraid to go in ultra close to capture those gorgeous eyes and expressions. This is one of my favourite ever shots.
And it’s ok to exclude the top of the head but do avoid chopping off the chin. 

Or come out wide to capture the location and to show the size of your child. 

And notice I placed this little girl off centre on the bench to make the image a bit more interesting. 

So a quick recap:
– Don’t always centre your child in the photo
– Think about the rule of thirds, but you don’t have to always stick to it!
– Don’t be afraid to go in ultra-close on the face
– Or come out wide to show the location 

By just making these small changes to your composition, they will have a dramatic effect on your photos. 

Next week I’m going to be suggesting some great photo apps for your i-Phone so you can take fab photos no matter where you are!

1 Comment

  1. Krista

    WOW your photos are stunning – can't wait to try out some of your tips when taking pics of my little princess 🙂


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Vicki Knights is one of the leading family photographers in the UK and started running her popular 'Photography for Parents' workshops in 2010 (the first of its kind in the UK!)  

Since then Vicki has developed a 'next stage' workshop, an online photography course for parentsa retreat for professional photographers and co-hosts a podcast for photographers. 


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