i get so many great questions from moms wanting to take better snapshots of their kids, so i thought i'd post a list of tips that i wrote for the fabulous baby rabies site a while back. i hope its helpful :)
rule #1 - get down on their level!!
babies and kids photograph best when you get down to their level! not only will you get better eye contact, but when you get down with them, older kids will immediately see you as their play pal and give you a big genuine smile!!
rule #2 - find great natural light!
natural light is best when possible to get those great skin tones and colors. when indoors, be sure to face your subject towards the source of light to get even lighting and avoid harsh shadows on faces. when outside, seek shade! direct sunlight will make kids squint like crazy and shade offers a great even soft light. if you can't get a ton of sunlight for your pics, don't worry! break out your flash and capture cute candid moments whenever you can. fun everyday moments can often highlight your child's personality better than any lighting can.
rule #3- keep it clean!
before you snap the shot, take a quick look at the background in your viewfinder. are there distracting patterns? a floral couch pulling attention from your sweet baby or perhaps a tree in the background that looks like it could be growing out of your husband's head? be sure to take pictures with a non distracting and neutral background. soft neutral colored blankets make a great backdrop for tiny babies and birth announcements!
rule #4- you look great!
angles are key to flattering pictures. girls, we all know the old 'hold your arm slightly away from our body' trick to keep our upper arms from looking like ham hocks, but when taking a full body shot, try crossing your feet slightly in front of each other (think ballet class!). it gives your legs great angles and curves and takes away from that no so flattering thigh on thigh action.
other than those basics, i always recommend people read their camera's manual! it sounds simple (and it is!) but knowing the capabilities and features of your camera can teach you a lot and help you use your camera to its potential.