The school year is under way, the fall like weather is here, and for a lot of parents weekends are spent outside at sporting events for their kids. That means, photos of kids splaying sports are taking over your phone photos, your “real” camera, and showing up on your Facebook / Instagram feeds. Every parent loves when they get that photo of their kid frozen in motion doing whatever sport it is they love. To make those awesome photos less of an accident, and get the photos that tell and preserve your story of weekends at sporting events, check out the 5 photo tips for kid sports below.
1. Shutter Speed
Setting this yourself tells the camera how fast or how slow to take the picture. So if you want to freeze motion, you want a higher shutter speed. For kids, the lowest I will go is 1/250. For running and lots of movement, try to keep it at least 1/500. You can set shutter speed when you are in manual mode or TV (shutter speed) mode on your camera. For more information about using the different camera modes, check out this blog post.
Think of aperture as a story. How much of the story do you want to tell? Do you want to focus on just your kid or the entire team playing? If you want to focus on just your kid and have a blurry soft background, you want a low aperture (f2.8). If you want all the action and players in focus, you want a higher aperture (f.8). You can set aperture when you are in manual mode or AV (aperture priority) mode on your camera. For more information about using the different camera modes, check out this blog post.
3. Big Picture
When you’re telling the story to preserve the memory of your sports filled weekends, you’ll want to take a variety of pictures. Don’t be afraid to take a few steps back and get that photo of everyone playing and everyone cheering. These big picture photos set the scene and capture environment.
The other part of the story is the details. Get a close up of just the skinned knees, hands holding a ball or a stick, arms linked for a team huddle, or whatever those little things you want to remember are. It’s ok not to include faces and focus on the details that are part of the story.
5. Aim High and Low
A lot of times when taking we take it from our perspective. That means when taking photos of kids, we are aiming the camera just slightly down. To get more from your photos, change your perspective. Get low so you’re at their level. Get even lower so your camera is almost on the ground and aim it straight ahead or aim it up. Then try the opposite and put the camera up high so you’re shooting over your head.
Have fun with these photos. With digital cameras, you have nothing to lose by trying different things and experimenting. Some will work and some will not. But the ones that don’t work, might just give you an idea for next weekend!