Kate Parker, a photographer based in Atlanta, Ga., turned her lens on her daughters as a way to encourage them to escape the stereotypes imposed on young girls and celebrate their strengths and interests. Parker’s message to her daughters, aged 5 and 8, is “be strong, be yourself, be honest and celebrate who you are.” Below are her tips for taking pictures that reveal the true strengths and beauty of girls.
Parker‘s tips on how you can take great pictures of your kids, too:
- Look For The Light: Light is huge! The magic hour (the hour before the sun goes down) is the most flattering and beautiful light. Take your kids out about half an hour before the sun sets. Place them directly in front of the sun facing you, which is called “backlighting,” and snap your pictures then.
- Don’t Say Cheese: You want real smiles and real interactions between the people in your images. Tell them not to look at you, but rather to look at one another and to tickle each other, or tell everyone to look at so and so’s nose! Most kids will laugh at that and you want to take their picture when genuine laughter happens.
- Document What They Love: Take pictures of your children with the things (stuffed animals, toys, blankets, clothing, etc.) that they love. Find a blank wall in your home to use as a backdrop. The blank wall makes the eye go to the most important thing in an image: your children. Set your kids up with their favorite things once a year and snap away.
- Get In Close: Shoot a close up portrait of your children every year or every time something major changes. Did someone get glasses? Shoot it. Lost a tooth? Braces? New haircut? Black eye? Baseball hat from the new team? Click, click. Click, click. If you stay close in and shoot only the face, it makes for a stronger image.