Have you ever seen a sharp photograph of a child splashing in a puddle or blowing bubbles and think, “I wish I could take pictures like that!” While it may be true that becoming a great photographer takes dedication and talent, there are basic technical skills that can help improve your images. Shared below are 5 beginner’s tips for photographing outdoor play.
To take great pictures of kids playing outside, one needs good light! Surprisingly, the harsh afternoon sun will create unflattering shadows on your subject. To get the best shots, photograph your kids playing outside in the morning or evening. Overcast days are great too!
Hold the Camera Properly
Holding the camera incorrectly can produce blurry photographs. Press your arms firmly into your body or against a hard surface to prevent camera shake.
Use the Right Settings
Many beginners neglect to experiment with the built-in exposure modes on their DSLR. To capture the action of outdoor play, slide your dial to Sports/Action Mode. In this mode, your camera automatically sets to a high shutter speed to freeze action.
Take Many Photos
Adjust your settings so your camera takes photographs continuously. When kids are playing, it can be difficult to capture the perfect moment—so capture many moments and pick your favorites when you edit later on your computer! If you wish to go 1 step further, adjust your settings to AI Servo which instructs your camera to continuously track your subject until the moment a picture is shot. This setting allows you to take sharp photographs—even with a moving subject!
Free programs like PicMonkey make image editing easy for beginners. Experiment with cropping your photograph for the best composition, increasing the saturation for brighter colors, and sharpening your photograph for a clean look. As with just about everything, less is usually more! Develop a system for editing, saving, and printing your best photographs. Keep your best photographs…and delete the rest!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.