Capturing Sweet Smiles

Valentine’s Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop snapping sweet shots of loved ones.

Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than catching a glimpse of a framed photo of my young daughter smiling brightly on our favorite beach in Hawaii with the sun setting behind her. The photo is nearly two years old, but it still puts me in a good mood each time I see it.

Snapping a frame worthy picture of an unpredictable child can be challenging, but if you go into the session remembering a few key tips, you should be able to capture a sweet smile you can stare at for years to come.

For starters, there’s no way you will be able to document a frame worthy moment if you don’t have proper lighting. Take your camera and your kid outside and use the sun as your primary light source. Natural light enhances the soft, round features associated with young children. When you shoot with your camera’s flash, you diminish that depth. The trick is to balance the light to illuminate your subject. You don’t want to shoot in harsh, direct light; rather, find a spot outside where your tot is bathed in soft sunlight instead of behind distracted by it.

Once you’ve found a decent light source, get down to your child’s level. By dropping to your knees you can capture eye-popping images of your child’s face and other body parts that will help tell a story without a single word. You can add even more spice to the shot by posing your child while shooting at his level. If you are working with an infant, consider placing her on a blanket in the middle of a field of flowers or propping her in a basket filled with blankets or toys. The goal is to personalize the shot in order to capture a memorable photo.

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Snapping Keepers Of Your Kids

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.