They grow up too fast, so why waste time on bad photos of your kids? Many of these tips will come in handy with older subjects, too.
• Focus on feeling.** The main difference between a snapshot and a portrait is thoughtful composition, and the most important part of a compelling composition is emotion. (Kids don’t hide much.) Think about what part of the child’s personality you want to convey, or what larger message or story you’re telling.
• Keep it simple. Show only what tells the story and nothing else. This often means getting really close—don’t be afraid to photograph only parts of your subject (such as a newborn’s toes or wrinkles).
• Use negative space. Placing a child slightly off-center in a larger background of color, for example, ensures a clean composition and leads the eye right to your subject.
ADAPTED FROM PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN PHOTO WORKSHOP: DEVELOP YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TALENT BY GINNY FELCH AND ALLISON TYLER JONES (WILEY, 2008; $30)_