Travel, Kids, and the Best Photos You’ve Taken

Apr
2010
17

posted by on parenting, photos on vacation, portrait photography, Travel

18 comments

Summer is approaching and many of us are starting to think about (or actually plan) travel with our families. With that in mind I will be featuring an “expert” travel series on this blog. A new topic and expert will be posted every Tuesday for the next 5 or 6 weeks. From making food part of your child’s travel experience to how to use music as a travel and language prep tool we’ll cover topics that will enrich and enhance your travel experience. I’ll be featuring experts and parents sharing their best tips and advice with you. Please come back every week and if you like the info share it on your social media and with friends. Happy Travels!

Social media, contrary to popular belief, does not alienate us but instead unites us. Recently a friend on Facebook introduced me to Lauren Aycock a fabulous area photographer who specializes in children’s portraits. You have to visit her site and see for yourself. She also does high school senior portraits visit her Facebook page for more detail. I liked Lauren’s work so much that I contacted her about sharing her expertise on this blog and was happy to find a new friend through social media.

Realistically, great (I mean truly great) pictures come not just from someone with technical knowledge but also with artistic talent. It takes a special eye and a little je ne sais quoi to frame the world through the camera lens not much different than that needed to frame it in a canvas. However, for the rest of us mortals who can’t invent talent having a little technical knowledge can drastically improve our images. Read Lauren’s tips and incorporate her suggestions next time you’re on vacation or simply in the back yard with the kids.

“Photograph Your Child Like a Pro”
By Lauren Aycock

Do you want your vacation as well as everyday life photos of your children to be memories to last a lifetime? There are many tips that will help in that endeavor. Here are some of the most common questions put forth to me by inquiring parent photographers:

How do I avoid a fake, cheesy smile from my child?

Sit them down and amuse them. Ask questions, blow bubbles, or simply have another person entertain them while you snap away. Distractions from the photography process helps in creating an unforgettable look.

What about portrait angles?

A side angle combined with children’s natural personalities makes for great photos. Let them play and just be themselves! Get up close and snap away while they’re looking up at you. Whether far away or close try putting them in the first or last third of the frame; it makes a much more interesting picture.

What about that all important lighting?

It’s always best to shoot in full shade. Keep the light behind and slightly off to the side of you. If you’re lucky enough to have a second adult along as an entertainer, keep the sun behind them so that your child is facing the light. Use a flash to soften the blur of moving children.

How can I capture a landscape along with the subject?

This can be quite tricky. I recommend taking this type of portrait as early or as late in the day as possible when lighting is best. If the sun is behind the view with your child in the forefront make sure your flash is set to “on” instead of “auto”. This ensures proper lighting on their face.

What if I only have a simple point and shoot camera?

These can be difficult to use with playing, running children because of the delay. You may want to take the big step of investing in camera equipment that guarantees better results. Invest in a digital SLR, such as a Canon Rebel, that lessens the delay. In order to allow you to follow your child with the lens instead of moving around with your child I recommend at least a 50 mm lens with a zoom up to 200mm. Purchase from a good camera shop with pro salesmen who are willing to answer any and all questions and give one-on-one instruction on the camera’s use.

Now you’re ready to capture your growing children both at home and on vacation. Act like a pro, and get great results! Have fun with your camera, creating memories that will be priceless heirlooms for you and your children. Most importantly just enjoy the process!

Other “Expert Series” articles: Travel with Cloth, Music as travel prep and Prepping for illness while traveling with kids. Happy Travels!

Lauren Aycock is the owner of Lauren Portrait Art based in Austin, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, Texas. She specializes in whimsical and custom children’s portraiture. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in Studio Art, her photography has been published in multiple national magazines. You can find Lauren at www.laurenportraitart.com, 512-436-9200, and Lauren Portrait Art on Facebook.

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