It's so expensive to have professional photos taken of your baby, and with today's camera technology you can really create professional-looking and lovely photos with regular cameras.
Here are a few tips!
Keep it simple: try not to attempt catalogue style photos with a fussy background or certain tilt of the head required. Keep the shots easy and simple for you all.
Background: keep an eye on what's behind your baby and check there's no washing on the line, or dustbins in the background or a traffic sign coming out of their head! A leafy hedge, a grassy bank, a blank wall are all simple and effective backgrounds that will look good.
Lighting: light the picture naturally if possible so take pictures outside or in bright rooms. Flash is fine but can distort the colours in the picture or result in red eye or closed eyes!
Sunshine: it's lovely to take shots in the sun, but beware of sun shining in the children's eyes and causing them to squint or shut their eyes. Don't tell them to try and smile and look into the sun... it just won't happen!
Get up close: try to have the photo full of your baby so that about 3/4 of the photo will feature the baby and the rest is background or other things. You can always crop the image after if you don't want to hold the camers in your baby's face.
Practice: get to know what all the buttons on the camera actually do. You may find they enhace the shot with a bit of practice. Take plenty of shots too, don't spend ages lining up a shot and then just take one. You can delete any you don't like.
Tilting: try out some different angles and tilt the cemera, turn it portrait or landscape and play around with what you can do to get the right image.
Eyes right: don't always insist your child looks at the camera. Looking down, or into the sky or eleswhere can make gorgeous shots.
Make it fun!: encourage your children to laugh and enjoy their photo session by making it a game and fun!
Take pictures often: by taking pictures often the children will be familiar with the idea of a camera being used and will not find it intimidating or embarassing.
Using technology to teach and inspire children is vital in this day where computers are commonplace, digital gadgets are all over the place and technology is so much more accessible.
Many children have their own toy cameras now, which is great to see the world through the eyes of the children.
However, you can try to give the camera usage a little more direction by setting the children photography projects such as:-
- Things that make me happy (ice cream, friends)
- Things that are brightly coloured (coat, bike)
- Things that don't belong here (litter dropped on the pavement etc.)
- Things that are beautiful (nature, trees)
- Things featuring numbers (shop phone number, house number)
- Things featuring letters (road names, signs)
- Things we need (post boxes, front doors)
- People I love... etc.
You could set the challenge of photographing things that begin with the alphabet letters.
- Find an Apple, Bed, Cup, Desk, Egg, Fence etc.
- Find various colours: find find 5 red items.
- Find a certain number of things: find 3 socks, 2 teddies etc.
When the pictures are taken, show the children how to load the images onto the computer. Describe what happens as you flick through the pictures and sort them. Show them how you print them and trim to size etc. You could then create a booklet displaying the images in order and writing the appropriate letter on each page.
A childminder is required to record observations as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and yet, how do you actually 'make' and record observations in a setting while trying to do other things and look after the children?
The easiest was is to use ToucanLearn's unique Daily Diary. By logging what you see, what the children say, any milestones etc on the Daily Diary you get a great personal record for yourself to monitor and to share with parents too... and you don't impact on the care you are giving by having to scratch around for paper and note books. Sign up at our website and start using ToucanLearn for free!
Use a digital camera or mobile phone to record what happens. Take pictures of special crafts, achievements or just everyday shots of the little ones going about their playing.
Take video of the children mastering tasks and having fun. Try to encourage them not to act up in front of the camera but to just be as 'normal' as they can... may be hard!
Have a note book somewhere central at all times and jot down observations. You can then stick them on a poster or add them to the ToucanLearn.
Maintain a weekly observation chart and add an entry each week in order to monitor overall progress.
Now that the warm weather is here - hopefully to stay - it's a great chance to get outside and capture the pretty things that appear in spring. If you have a digital camera, a phone with a camera on it or a kiddie digital camera why not go out on a photo shoot.
- Discuss where you want to go... the local park, a pond or river nearby or the garden.
- Plan together what you should take: snacks, drink, sun hat, blanket for resting on or note book to draw things.
- Talk about when to go (morning time when the birds are singing, lunchtime when the sun is brightest and highest, or evening when things are covered in the glow of the setting sun.
Allow your little one access to the camera - with supervision. See what they are attracted to and help them take photos. You could focus on different things:
- Colours: Take photos of different coloured things line green grass, brown bark, pink blossom, white daisies. See how many you collect.
- Texture: take photos of different textures like rough tree, smooth leaf, bumpy path, silky flowers.
- Size: take pictures of small, medium and large and super-large things such as tiny ants, medium shrubby bushes, large fallen trunks and massive towering trees.
- Mini beasts: find and photograph as many mini beasts and animals you can find: insects, squirrels, butterflies, spiders and webs, birds etc.
Have a happy, snappy time!
Taking good photos of children can seem impossible, but with the advent of the digital camera it should be easier than ever. Gone are the days when you take a few snaps, send the films away and six months later see your photos and realise you'd cut off heads and not had the sun behind you!
Here are a few tips to ensure you have a good selection to choose from.
- Take plenty! Don't spend ages lining up a photo and take hours setting it all up while the children get bored and run away. Just keep snapping... you never know what you'll get!
- Don't shout at the children if they wriggle and move. Digital cameras should get the shot in focus and try to keep the children happy!
- Make sure there's good light - the one thing that will improve your photos is immeasurably is that there is enough light in the shot.
- Be spontaneous. Try to take casual shots when the children are unaware. Get them looking at flowers, strolling along a path, singing to themselves or just sitting under a tree.
- Try and take the pictures without the children knowing. Position the camera where they can't see it or use a timer or wire to take shots without them knowing. These will be more natural photos.
- Be realistic. Don't expect too much or photos that are too perfect. If they are off centre, that's fine and can make it all look even more natural.
- Be flexible. If you were looking for a solo photo of your pre-schooler and your toddler wanders in, don't worry! You may end up with a great double act photo!