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5 Tips and Tricks For the Perfect Fall Photos

5 Tips and Tricks For the Perfect Fall Photos

Are you ready for some fall photography tips and tricks?! Fall is just around the corner! I am so excited to get out there and shoot all the beautiful fall colors. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Ever. I just love the cool weather, the photography goldmine, and the fun activities that happen in fall. All around, fall is such a great season!

It’s a photography goldmine because it has such beautiful colors! If you’re like most photographers, then you’ll want to capture the beautiful colors. I wanted to get these tips out to you early, so that you can study and understand them, before the fall colors come out! I just love all the beautiful fall colors in this post! Be sure to pin it for later!

check out my 21 Perfect Gifts for the Photographer in Your Life post

Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

the perfect fall outfit

Alright, if you’re going to be photographing out in the fall, you have to look cute. Maybe it’s just me, but I love when I find out what people are wearing to the shoot. I’m always curious.

Fall is great because it has such beautiful colors that you can use in your wardrobe fashion! Here are some of my favorite wardrobe picks for fall! Let me know which ones  you try out!!

my favorite fall accessories

  • these boot warmers – these are legit the cutest things I have ever seen. I love them so much! They go perfect with those awesome boots that you know you’ll be wearing! And that adorable button?! I’m in love!
  • this cute mama bear shirt – I love this shirt! I love the maroon color, but of course, you could get any color you want! I love how it has elbow patches and it is so soft and comfortable. The perfect fall shirt – cute and comfortable!
  • an adorable fall dress – maybe it’s just me, but I’m always on a lookout for a nice dress. And this dress is perfect for fall (and for your fall pictures!). I love how it has plain colors, it’s nice and long, and it has pockets. I mean, when I find a dress with pockets, I just hand out money like a crazy person! Just take my money! GIVE ME THE POCKET DRESS!!
  • don’t forget a scarf! – you have to have a nice scarf for fall! And this scarf is legit the best. I love it so much! The plaid just makes it so much better. I love love it so much I bought myself more than one! Scarves are must haves!

So that’s it, the perfect fall outfit includes boot warmers, a scarf, a cute shirt or a cute dress. Pair these items with other articles of clothing you already have! And now you are ready to get down to business in your cute new outfit. Let’s learn about photographing the fall colors!

fall photography tips

These tips are intending for those of you who understand manual mode. If you are looking to improve your photography by learning manual mode, you’re in luck! I am working on a course and you can sign up for here it. By entering your name and email, you’ll receive news on when the course will be aired as well as some early bird pricing – so I would jump on this email list as fast as possible to get that special pricing! It will be well worth your time!

Now, on to the fall photography tips I have for you! I am so ready for those fall colors to come around!

Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

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Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

1. fall photography – capture the fall colors

I kind of feel like this is a no brainer – like duh, capture those gorgeous colors! But I want you to not only capture the beautiful fall colors, I want you to focus on the fall colors. Figure out a way to play with the colors. Color can be a compositional tool and with the changing of the colors, you can really focus on that. Normally everything is green (if you’re where I’m from) and so now you have a chance to play with other colors!

When looking at a color wheel, green is across from red/pink (depending on what shade of green). So normally you would want to try to pair those two colors together. But Yellow is across from purple and orange is across from blue! Those are two new colors you can play with in your compositions!

Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

2. fall photography – photograph the changing season

It doesn’t have to be completely fall yet for you to start photographing the season! It’s always fun to do a photo series! A photo series is around 4 images (you could have more, but you should probably have at least 4) that all relate to each other. A fun project would be to photograph the same location in all the different seasons. And then you put them together in a fun grid! You could call it your fall photography photo series! (I’m so original, I know!)

Aside from a photo series, it would also be fun to showcase how the seasons are changing. How one tree is orange while the others are green. How some of the leaves have changed color, but not all. Think about ways to creatively show the changing season.

A perfect activity to do in the fall season is to go on a photo walk – find a location that has plenty of fall colors. Like a park or a walking trail. Bring your family or take this walk by yourself. Take your time and look for all the details of fall.

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Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

3. photograph the pumpkin patch

What’s fall without the pumpkin patch!? I would double-check with your local pumpkin patch (and if you don’t have one, boo! You need one!) and make sure that it’s ok to take pictures. Some pumpkin patches require a fee to take pictures. Fall photography just wouldn’t be complete without the pumpkin patch.

But pumpkin patches are a great way to capture the fall feeling and also enjoy some family time – I’m all about family time! Pumpkin patches provide a lot of pretty visual. I know I’m excited to go to the pumpkin patch this year – we make it a fall tradition! We’ve gone every year for the past three years. As a result, I’ve gotten some great images!

4. focus on the details

Fall has a lot of beautiful details. From the orange leaves, to the dying beautiful crap all around, there are lots and lots of beautiful details to capture. Pull out a macro lens (the lens I use is the Nikon 105mm 2.8 but I have my eyes on a different one, like the Velvet 56 that is a lensbaby but also a macro lens) and capture the beauty of fall.

Pro tip: The details don’t have to be caught with a macro lens. You can also capture details with other lenses. Just get in close, or crop in post processing. Take a picture of your kid holding a leaf or a flower or something showcasing fall. The details just mean you should get in nice and close. Don’t get caught up if you don’t have a macro lens. 🙂

If you’re interested in learning more about macro, here are my tips on starting macro photography.

Fall Photography Tips - How to Capture Fall

5. capture the fall holidays

Fall is the turning point and when all the fun holidays start to come about! Capture the fun season! The Halloween traditions – knocking on doors and getting candy, Halloween activities, going to the pumpkin patch, hay rides, there are so many things! Capture all the fun you have in this season.

Don’t forget to photograph those cute Halloween costumes! Plan to go trick or treating early or get your kids ready early so that there is still light to get some good pictures in the front yard. There’s also all those Thanksgiving traditions to capture, as well. Fall is full of so many events. It’s perfect to practice your photography!

So shoot everyday this fall season, grow as a photographer. You can thank me later. Get out there and shoot!

What are some of your favorite fall activities? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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The Best Lens to Buy First

The Best Lens to Buy First

One of the many questions I receive is “What lens should I buy first?” and I think this is an excellent question! In my opinion, the best lens to buy is the Nikon 50mm 1.8 (I also recommend the Canon 50mm 1.8 for those of you who are Canon!). I really love everything about this lens. I think it’s perfect for the first lens you buy.

Many camera’s come as a kit. Meaning you buy the camera and then some ‘kit lenses’. Now this might sound like an excellent deal, a camera and some lenses all for one price?! But, I would highly recommend buying just the camera and then spending it on a more advanced and high quality lens, like the 50mm. I will explain more about it below.

check out my 3 Tips to Get Started in Photography post

The best lens to buy first

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

beginner camera

So if you’re curious about what lens would be best to pair with the 50mm 1.8, then you have come to the right place! I really recommend going with a crop frame camera, first. And then upgrading when your skills improve to a full frame camera.

Pro Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about full frame vs crop frame cameras, this is an excellent article from ClickinMoms.

The Nikon D5300 crop frame camera – I had the Nikon D5100 when I first started, and this is just a newer version of that same camera. You won’t break the bank by buying this. I recommend buying the body frame only. DO not get any kit lenses. Instead, save your money for the lens recommended below!

the best lens to buy first

Let’s get into some reasons why the 50mm 1.8 is the best first lens to buy. There are so many lenses out there to choose from and it can be a little daunting looking through all the lenses you could buy. Lenses always come with different numbers and letters on their titles, which can get very confusing.

Just to explain what some of the numbers on the lenses mean, let’s start with the first number. If, for example, you are looking at the Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens, the 50 is the focal length. This refers to how zoomed in your lens is. The higher the number here, the more zoomed in it is. Wide angle lenses start at 35mm and can go all the way down to 15mm, even 10mm! The lower the number, the more of the scene you’ll get in the frame. 50mm is a pretty good focal length. It’s a little tighter than your eyes focal length. On a crop frame camera, the lens will be even tighter due to the crop.

Going on to the second number on the lens: 1.8. This refers to the lowest aperture your lens can go. Some lenses can go down to a 1.4 or even a 1.2! Now, the lower the number here, the more you can introduce light into your photographs and with that, the more expensive the lenses will be. 1.8 will be a great first lens because, in reality, you very rarely should shoot wide open at 1.8. I find that 2.0 is a good starting point for most lenses, but you’ll have to find what works for you and your style.

The 50mm 1.8G is a prime lens, meaning it is just one focal length! You can’t zoom in and out unless you move your feet. And what’s better than a lens that makes you exercise? I really don’t know. Prime lenses are usually sharper than zoom lenses.

Now, here are my reasons why the Nikon 50mm 1.8G is the best lens to buy first. Keep in mind, buying other lenses is always a Yes! But this lens is great for beginners as well as intermediate photographers looking to up their game from the kit lenses (and remember, I recommend not getting the kit lenses at all and saving your money to buy the 50!).

The Best Lens to Buy First

1. the cost

The cost of the 50mm can’t be beat! It’s one of the cheapest lenses out there. Now, if price isn’t an option, and you are looking for an amazing lens, I’d recommend the 50mm 1.4G – it’s just like the 1.8 option, but it will be a little sharper and is an all around great lens.

But you really can’t beat the cost of the 50mm 1.8 lens. If you’re looking to get some better glass for less, this is the lens to go to. This lens packs a punch at a low cost. Seriously one of the best purchases I have ever made! I can’t recommend it enough.

2. blurry backgrounds

Because this lens can get down to the 1.8 aperture, it will allow for you to take images with blurry backgrounds. I know when I first started out, I craved to get a blurry background. I couldn’t figure out how some photographers did that because I only had a kit lens. It is extremely hard to get blurry backgrounds with kit lenses. Another reason you’re able to get blurry backgrounds is because of the focal length. This allows you to have a greater depth of field. Especially if you isolate your subject from the background.

3. fixed aperture

Fixed aperture means that you can set your aperture (let’s say we set it to f/2.0) and then if you have to change your focus point or zoom in or out, the aperture could change. This makes it very frustrating when learning manual mode. But since this lens has a fixed aperture, if you change it to f/2.0 it will stay at f/2.0 until you change it to something else. I am never getting another lens that doesn’t have fixed aperture! It’s even frustrating if you know manual, just saying!

4. easy to learn manual

Because of the fixed aperture that makes this lens a great lens to learn manual with. It will let you keep the aperture you keep, which is very essential in learning manual. You don’t want your settings to change at all when trying to learn manual. It will become very frustrated and you will probably give up quickly. But with this lens, it makes it really easy to learn manual!

5. small size

The 50mm 1.8G is a very small size and perfect for taking anywhere. I love how small it is and that it’s really easy to fit in any purse or bag. Along with being small, it is also light weight. Which, again, is perfect to haul around anywhere. This would be perfect for taking into amusement parks, travelling, and even just your everyday errands. It won’t weigh you down!

The 50mm is a little tight when shooting inside, so keep in mind that if you are looking for a wider lens to shoot indoor photography, the 50mm might not be the best choice. My go to lens for indoor photography is my Sigma 24mm 1.4 ART lens – I actually use this lens 95% of the time. It’s my favorite lens! But it is expensive! I had to save up months to buy it. So, keep that in mind.

The following images were all taken with the 50mm 1.8.

The Best Lens to Buy First

The Best Lens to Buy First

The Best Lens to Buy First

This lens is awesome for beginner photographers learning manual mode or just photographers in general wanting to up their lens game from the kit lens. It’s one of the cheapest lenses, it’s sharp, it’s versatile, and it requires you to exercise a little bit.

9 Photography Tips for Mom’s

9 Photography Tips for Mom’s

When I first started photography, I knew that one day I would want good images of my kids. I got into photography about two years before I had my son. Most mom’s start photography because they had a child and then decided to learn photography. Whatever the reason, photography is a great creative outlook for mom’s. It’s something that will help them have their own special time to be creative and learn new things. Be careful, though, it’s very addicting to continue learning photography!!

There is a lot of information out there to help improve your photography. One piece of advice is just take it one day at a time. Another thing to remember is to practice what you read. I could tell you a bunch of information and it mean absolutely nothing if you don’t practice what you read!

check out my 5 Tips to Getting Better Pictures of Your Infant post

9 Photography Tips for Moms

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

what gear should I use

Some mom’s buy a new camera at the birth of their first born child. Other mom’s just wing it with what they have. I will tell you what gear I use and what gear I recommend for beginner photographers/mom photographers. I don’t want you to spend a fortune getting new gear though. I am 100% for using whatever gear you have to the fullest.

When I was in high school, I bought myself a nice point and shoot camera – it was a fantastic purchase and I got a lot of good shots using that camera. I also realized that I really liked photography. So if you’re not sure about spending a ton of money on a camera you might not use, use any camera you have at your disposal! Or you could even borrow a camera from a friend or family member. Us mom’s gotta stick together. 😉

The gear that I use for photographing my toddler are as follows:

  • The Nikon D610 full frame camera – I really love this camera and it’s a great first full frame camera. I will eventually upgrade this, but for now this gets the job done for what I need in a camera.
  • Sigma 24mm 1.4 ART lens – this lens is amazing. I love how sharp it is and that I can get in nice and close but also backup to get the full scene. It’s a great lens to use for indoor photography – which is what most mom’s would be taking pictures of.

Now, if you are a beginner photographer and looking for a starting camera then I would recommend the following camera and lens:

  • The Nikon D5300 crop frame camera – I had the Nikon D5100 when I first started, and this is just a newer version of that same camera. You won’t break the bank by buying this. I recommend buying the body frame only. DO not get any kit lenses. Instead, save your money for the lens recommended below!
  • Nikon 35mm 1.8 lens – this lens is absolutely great for beginner photographers! It’s wide enough for indoor photography (it’s even wider on a full frame camera, but it does the job on a crop frame) and you are able to use it on a full frame when you eventually upgrade (which you will if you’re serious about photography).

The camera body and lens mentioned above are one of the cheaper cameras out there. So keep that in mind when starting your photography journey: photography is expensive!

If you don’t have the money for a camera quite yet, you can practice good photography skills on just your phone! You won’t be able to use manual exposure, but you will be in charge of light, composition, and the moment. Use whatever camera you have and by the time you buy your first DSLR, you’ll be ready for a full frame!

8 photography tips for mom’s

9 Photography Tips for Moms

1. learn manual mode

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend learning manual mode. I am writing a course about it, be sure to sign up for announcements and early bird pricing! You won’t want to miss the early bird pricing. 😉

Manual mode can seem intimidating if you learn by yourself, but it can dramatically improve your images over night. It takes a lot of work and practice, but once you get it, it will become second nature to you. If you have a camera that allows you to use manual mode, then learn it as soon as possible! I promise that your photography with change overnight. Mine did when I took a class!

If you haven’t already learned about manual mode, it’s essential! Especially when photographing in tricky light and photographing those fast toddlers! I have a new class –  LEARN MANUAL: how to take control of your camera (by clicking on this link and signing up, you’ll get updates on anything new to this course). It’s not complete yet, but by signing up for updates you’ll be the first to know when it is ready! Plus some early bird pricing (yes, please!).

9 Photography Tips for Moms

2. higher shutter speed

This will only benefit you if you know manual mode – keep your shutter speed way up! Kids are fast and you’re going to want to freeze their movements (there might be a few times when you’ll want to show motion – like maybe showing them speed by on a bike) so get those shutter speeds up! As a rule of thumb, I tend to use a starting point of 1/250 – but keep in mind that if you have a longer focal length (say 85mm) you will need a higher starting point. I start at 1/250 but I sometimes see movement, especially when photographing my son. I find that 1/400 is a good shutter speed as well. I start there but usually go up. I never go below 1/250 though!

By using a higher shutter speed, it helps to not only freeze their movements, but also get sharper images. So if you feel like you aren’t getting sharp images, one thing that might be the problem is your shutter speed. I would test out how low you could go before introducing camera shake. Start at 1/250 and take a picture. Zoom in and see if there is any noticeable shake. Then lower your shutter speed by a few clicks (adjust other settings to have proper exposure) and then take another picture. Zoom in and see if there is any noticeable shake. Once you figure out how low you can go, you can be sure to never go that low. You don’t want to have any camera shake in your images – they will not appear sharp and your images will seem amateur.

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3. use natural light

This is probably my favorite tip out there – use natural light. What do I mean by natural light? I mean light produced by the sun. In other words – turn of ALL the lights. Artificial light is really hard to work with. It’s possible to make this type of like look good, bu your images will look so much better if you turn off the lights and use natural light.

Pro tip: Look for catchlights in the eyes. What do I mean by catchlights? Catchlights refer to the sparkle you sometimes see in someone’s eyes. Look at my son’s eyes in the image above – do you see the ‘light in his eyes’? Those are catchlights. Now that I’ve pointed them out, you’ll see them everywhere. You’re welcome.

If you want to learn more about catchlights, this is an excellent article.

9 Photography Tips for Moms

4. don’t over edit

Seriously. There is nothing worse than an over edited image. When I first started in photography, I totally over edited each image. I made my images blue. I went crazy on the eyes. I put too much contrast on my images, I just went crazy. Don’t do that. Don’t be like beginner me. Be better! A simple edit will go a long way. For me, when it comes to editing, a little can go a long way. I am often not a fan of images you can tell are extremely edited. I love the real life, honest edits.

If you’re interested to see how I edit, check out this post I wrote about how I edit my b&w images.

Simple is better – not always for everyone, but when you’re first starting out, yes. Simple is better. I do want to encourage finding your own editing style and experiment. Experiment until you find that style. But you don’t have to share your experiments with everyone. Keep them secret. 😉

Momtip_ALY7316

5. don’t say ‘cheese’

Now that we have all the technical aspects out of the way – on to the fun parts!

I beg of you – don’t tell your child to say ‘cheese’. I have a few problems with this. Number one is if your kid is old enough to understand what this means, they are probably old enough to decide they don’t want to participate in photos. Instead of getting a good image of your child smiling, you get a disgusted look, or even them looking away from the camera.

Pro tip: Instead of telling your kids to say ‘cheese’, you could simply say ‘look’ to get some nice eye contact. If the child is young enough, you could also tell them to look for the rainbow in your lens.

If you’re looking for a laughing image or a smile at the camera image, you could say something silly like ‘poop’ or even make silly noises! The key to this is to make photography fun for your children.

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6. capture your kids naturally

This goes with the previous tip. Capture your children doing what they naturally do. This is what you want to remember in your photos – what your kids naturally do! If you stumble upon your children playing nicely together, try to sneak in some shots without your kids noticing.

Pro tip: Give your kid a prompt and then photograph their natural reaction. It could be something simple like ‘dance’ or it could be something like ‘go swing on the swing’! It just depends on what ind of shot you want.

Toddlers are so easy because they don’t really care too much for the camera, so you can just photograph them running around being them. Older kids can decide they don’t want you to photograph them. Be respectful of their feelings. If they don’t want to be photographed, focus on something else until they are ok with it. Be sure to say thank you for any image they do let you take of them.

9 Photography Tips for Moms

7. have the camera handy

You never know when a magical moment is going to happen. I try to keep my camera in the center of my home. That way, it’s easy to get to. I also strive to take my camera everywhere. You never know when a special moment will unfurl and you want to be prepared to capture it!

Pro tip: I believe the best camera you have is the one you have with you – and sometimes it’s not a fancy DSLR camera. It’s your phone! Just remember to follow the same rules you’d follow with your DSLR.

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8. clean the scene

One of the simplest ways to get better images of your children is to declutter the scene. Of course unless it adds to the story, then you might want to include the mess. But, simple images can add impact. Be aware of what is in your frame. Take a shot and look to see if it looks cluttered. If it does, quickly clean the scene.

Now I’m not saying you have to live in a spotless house 24/7. Nope! I know how busy mom’s are – I am one! I know you don’t always have time to clean my house, especially not for images! I’m just saying to be mindful of what’s in your frame and if it adds to your story or not. Simple scenes can add impact to your photography and make your images 10 times better.

9 Photography Tips for Moms

9. get in the frame

I love hopping in the frame with my son. I know I won’t regret it when he’s older. Mama’s, hope in that frame with your kids! You could capture you doing something together. Like cooking or reading books. Make it fun. And it doesn’t even matter if they are technically right or not – the most important thing is that you are getting in the frame with your littles.

If you need some help with taking self portraits, check out my self portraits post.

With these tips, you are all set to taking better images of your children. Remember to practice, practice, practice! Do you have any mom photography tips? Share below!

Also, if you have any questions at all about the information covered in this article, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White

Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White

I’m going to start a new blog post series called watch me edit! And it is what it sounds, I’m going to be posting videos of me editing images. I don’t know about you, but I learned a lot by watching someone else edit. That’s how I learned 90% of my editing process.

If you’re curious about reasons why you would want to convert an image to black and white, read my blog post about it! I give you 5 Reasons to Convert an Image to Black and White and they’re gooooooodddddd reasons, just sayin’! Let’s dive in! But first….

If you haven’t already learned about manual mode, it’s essential! Especially when photographing in tricky light! I have a new class –  LEARN MANUAL: how to take control of your camera (by clicking on this link and signing up, you’ll get updates on anything new to this course). It’s not complete yet, but by signing up for updates you’ll be the first to know when it is ready! Plus some early bird pricing (yes, please!).

check out my A Beginner’s Guide to Shooting in Black and White post

Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White in Lightroom

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

what editing program I use and why

I love love love to use Lightroom to edit my images. On occasion, I do pull my images into Photoshop to either clone or add a little more pop. But, the majority of the time I use Lightroom for everything. I love it so much! I love how easy it is to use and I love the edits I’m able to produce in seconds.

a good SOOC (straight out of camera) is important

Before we get started, I wanted to dive into just how important it is to have a good SOOC. Light and exposure IN camera are so so important. Don’t take pictures thinking, ‘Oh, I can fix this in post!’. You should be taking pictures to make post processing easy. Even if you love editing, you don’t want to make it hard on yourself by taking a really crappy SOOC! This is true for any post processing, and not just black and white edits!

I’m a constant under exposure, and for that reason, my style is a little darker. If you have a brighter style, where your whites are really white, make sure you are not blowing any highlights. Highlights are not as easily fixed. If anything, make sure you have proper exposure SOOC and then brighten your photo in post to get the style you love. Be smart with how you expose your images!

Now that I’ve blabbed about the importance of SOOC, on to the video!

In case I went to fast in the video, here are the settings I tweaked to make this a nice deep black and white.

Basic

  • Exposure: -0.36
  • Contrast: +29
  • Highlights: -17
  • Shadows: -35
  • Whites: +9
  • Blacks: -38
  • Clarity: +15
  • Dehaze: +7

If you have any questions about how I convert my images to black and white, do not hesitate to ask! I am happy to help!

SOOC

Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White in Lightroom

After B&W Conversion_ALY8190

As always, thank you so much for swinging by!

Compositions to Consider When Photographing Toddlers

Compositions to Consider When Photographing Toddlers

I’ve decided to do a series of blog posts pertaining to toddlers, this one is about compositions to consider. As most of your visiting my blog are probably aspiring momtographers (that’s a word, I promise), I figured you ladies wouldn’t mind some toddler tips and tricks. The first post I would recommend reading is Photographing a Toddler 101 – it gives you the basics to capturing great images of your toddler!

I wanted to reinforce that the most important thing to consider when photographing toddlers is patience. They do what they want, no matter how badly you want them to sit still and smile! Maybe that’s just not my style – I really love to have candid photos. The sit still and smile at the camera just doesn’t capture the emotion I crave. So if you stick around with me, you’ll learn more about how to photograph toddlers.

If you haven’t already learned about manual mode, it’s essential! Especially when photographing in tricky light and photographing those fast toddlers! I have a new class –  LEARN MANUAL: how to take control of your camera (by clicking on this link and signing up, you’ll get updates on anything new to this course). It’s not complete yet, but by signing up for updates you’ll be the first to know when it is ready! Plus some early bird pricing (yes, please!).

check out my 5 Tips to Getting Better Pictures of Your Infant post

Compositions to consider when photographing toddlers

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

what is composition

I will briefly introduce you to composition.

Composition in any type of art, is the ingredients that make up something. For music, this is the notes that make up the song. For images, this is the subjects, objects, that make up an image.

There’s a ton of different ways to use compositional elements to make your image stronger and better. I’ll go into more details about all the different types of compositions below and why you should consider using them when photographing a toddler – they definitely add to the image.

  • rule of thirds
  • framing (one of my favorite)
  • scale
  • looking down
  • center
  • faceless

There are even more out there, but these are my favorites for toddlers. Now that we learned a little bit more about what composition is, let’s move on to how and why you should use these compositional elements and what exactly they mean.

compositions to consider when photographing toddlers

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

1. rule of thirds

For this compositional tool, you have to picture your image split into 9 squares and placing your subject on one of the intersecting lines in the image. Take the image above, for example. My son is place on one of the intersecting lines. This composition is pleasing to the eye. It’s a rule that can be broken, though. Keep that in mind. Knowing the rule, using the rule, and breaking the rule are all important in composition.

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

For this image, since my son isn’t centered between my fridge and my dryer, a center composition wouldn’t have looked as please. With him being frame the way he is, the rule of thirds lends a better composition. It pulls the eye right to your subject, and it doesn’t look awkward.

When I take a picture, I practice with different compositions to see which one would work the best. Rule of thirds is one I use quite a lot of! However, one of my favorite ways to compose an image is ‘framing’ which we’ll talk about next!

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

2. framing

The compositional rule of framing is exactly what it sounds like: you frame your subject with other objects in the frame. I use this technique a lot. I love it! Once you start looking for frames, you’ll see them everywhere. Trust me. In the image above, my son is framed by not only the door, but the window, as well as the light! Yes, light can be used as ‘framing’. Frames can literally be anything and everything. You can use other people. The side of the frame, doorways, colors, the list goes on. Below my son is ‘framed’ between the door and the wall. I would also say he’s framed by light, as well.

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

Framing is a great way to compose images of your toddler. It adds interest to your already cute photo. It draws the viewer in. It makes the viewer linger just a little bit. Framing an object is also so easy. Doorways are great, parks have a ton of framing tools to practice with. Architecture is full of frames, too! But there’s even frames in nature. You could frame your child with branches from the tree!

Framing can also appear to be a ‘peaking’ in type of scene. It’s great for sleeping images like the one below!

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

There are many many ways you can frame an object. Go try it out! You could even practice on something that doesn’t move as much as a toddler. In fact, I highly recommend practicing on stuff animals before making your way to your toddler. It’s easier to practice when the subject doesn’t move!!

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

3. scale

This one is great. What I mean by scale, is you take an image to show just how tiny your toddler really is. Like in the image above, you can plainly see just how tiny he is against that wall (he is also framed very nicely by the paneling and bricks!). Looking at this image you realize just how little and precious this boy is. He’s tiny! The best way to do this is to back it WAY up. (I would recommend having a helper to help in case the baby makes a run for it!). Include the environment in your image. This would be great to do at a beach, show just how tiny they are compared to the big ocean. You could do this at the park, the carnival, showing how little they are compared to the rides. This is a great composition to use on toddlers, because they are in fact, very little.

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

4. looking down

Looking down on your subject is a great way to photograph them. It helps with eye contact and getting beautiful catchlights. It also makes them seem larger than they are (so basically the opposite of scale!) I love using this technique when shooting toddlers. I think it’s very flattering on them. It’s an easy one to do, too! Especially if they aren’t walking yet. Just sit them down and stand (or kneel) slightly above them. Get their attention to have some eye contact and snap away! It’s really that easy. 🙂

This is great to get that eye contact and to also get a little bit closer. Details are so important to capture!

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

5. center

A center composition is a good choice for when there is symmetry. In the image above, my son and husband are ‘framed’ (another composition choice!) between the hallway walls. This pulls the attention straight to the center. Center compositions are probably the easiest composition to pull off, and one you’re probably already doing. Go a step further and really concentrate on what could make a center composition more interesting.

Center composition can be good for when you want to simplify your frame. It also can be a good choice for detail shots. Using leading lines to center your subject can also help strengthen your composition.

Be deliberate when you use center composition. Don’t always have center compositions. And when you do use center compositions, be confidant in your decision!

 

Compositions to Consider when photographing your toddler

6. faceless

I think faceless images are perfect for any genre of portraits! But I think it adds a level of mysteriousness to toddler images. Plus toddlers have cute everything (I wish I had cute everything) and those details deserve to be the center of attention, as well.

In conclusion, your toddler is cute so any image you take of them is going to be adorable. But by keeping these compositions in mind while taking images of your toddler (or anything!!) it will help strengthen your photography instantly.

Thanks for stopping by.