Photographing children can be a struggle when it comes to freezing motion. Children, especially toddlers, don’t sit still. Amiright?!
Have you ever noticed when taking a picture of your kids that their face isn’t as sharp as you’d like it to be, or maybe their hand is slightly blurred? That’s from motion blur. Motion blur happens when you’re unable to freeze the motion you were trying to capture on camera. You can freeze that motion by making sure your settings are set to capture the movement that is happening. Using Shutter Speed and Aperture together can create that tack sharp photograph, keeping motion intact.
As my son is getting older (he’s only 1 1/2 years old, but it feels like he’s already 15), I’m noticing how much I love the photographs where he’s running or bouncing off the walls. Those photographs capture his true personality at this age, and so I can’t help but fall in love with them.
BACK BUTTON FOCUS
My first recommendation to freeze motion is to use Back Button Focus. In a nutshell, BBF is when you separate the shooting and focusing aspects of your camera into two buttons, rather than just one. At first, BBF is a challenge to get used to, but once you’ve practiced a bit, you’ll start to get the hang of it and never look back. I promise!
When shooting a subject that is in motion, it’s extremely important to have the correct Shutter Speed. Even if my subjects are hardly moving, I try to always keep my Shutter Speed above 250 to get a sharp photo. If my subject is really moving, I like to be somewhere around 1250 or greater. A high Shutter Speed allows you to focus and then take several images very quickly to freeze that motion.
If you are limited with light, don’t be afraid to increase your ISO in order to bring up your Shutter Speed. You can always decrease noise in Lightroom later, but you can’t make a blurry photo sharp in post-processing.
It’s easier to capture in motion movement when you have a higher Aperture. If I have plenty of light outside, I will use around 2.8 or above, and if I’m indoors and need a little more light, I’ll creep a little bit lower than that. You’ll still get plenty of bokeh at those Apertures.
I hope these few tips help you to freeze motion in your photographs, so that you can remember the wild and crazy that your child is today! 😉