07/26/2011 02:07 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2011

Shooting From the Hip: 5 Great Tips on Photographing Children.

• Know Their Point of View

Literally, our kids' eyes are just about as high as our hips, so why do most of us photograph them while we are standing tall?! The best way to get a great shot of that perfect expression is the get down onto their level. This forces you to see their world, making for a more intimate photograph.

• Get Personal

Getting in close helps us capture a personal moment. Imagine them looking at you, through a curl of hair just over an eye, or their hand holding their favorite toy. These details, tell their stories in a more interesting way.

• To Say Cheese or Not to Say Cheese

How do we obtain interesting reactions? Think playful and be camera "stealth." Don't let them know you're taking a shot while you're playing with them. Be in their moment as a participant, playing with them. Have your camera ready and don't announce that you want to take a shot. Another way is to be silly and ask them something like...

"How come horses walk on two feet?"

Kids know horses don't walk on two feet and this statement will get them to address you, especially if you appear perplexed on the question itself. So as they come to your rescue, have your camera ready. You know your child best, so find that idea that will get them to stop, instead of just saying 'cheese'!

• Use the Flash Outdoors

A good way to "fill" in shadows is to utilize our flash on our cameras so its light will make those shadows softer. Since most cameras don't allow the flash to turn on when we're in Auto Mode and outdoors on a sunny day, we have to go to our Manual setting, so we can use our flash, or a feature like the Portrait mode where we are given that 3rd choice to manually put our flash on. Another great trick is to "soften" the effect of the flash by adding a piece of "diffusion" material to our flash, and help reduce any "hot-spots" in our shots.

• Play with Movement

Kids run, jump and move a lot! So to get a great shot of them in motion, we follow their action. This means that we view them through our camera lens and shoot an image at the same time. Think of a race-car on a track and think how it would look through binoculars. That road is in motion, while the car appears to be still. This idea is perfect for action shots of your kids. This is called "panning" an image.

Another idea in movement is to do the opposite and have them running through your image while they appear to be in motion. You stand still and let them run in and out of frame. This way the background will be still while they have a blur. Try adding the fill flash with this idea and you'll see how they "freeze" and appear to be moving simultaneously.

These ideas involve physical reactions in our shots. One where we move our lens to follow and the other is to let the action come to us.

These tips will help you take better images and get you thinking like a photographer. Think outside the box and get into that sandbox!

For more tips about digital photography, go to:

by Ken and Santino - The "Photo Guys"

Digital Photography Made Simple™