1. Get Outside if you can!!
you really can't beat good old natural light so get out there and take some shots. Its best to take photos outdoors during whats called The Golden Hour (one hour after sunrise and one before sunset) but other times of day are great too just try to be out of direct sunlight in the shade.
2. Step away from the FLASH!
Whether you're in low light inside or dark shade outside you're camera may want to use flash, do not do it! flash is ugly, it flattens the image and blows out detail. Take the photo below.
3. Shoot near a window!
So you can't go out side, no problem, shoot near a window you'll still get the benefit of natural light only indoors. set up with the Window in front of or beside your little one for good lighting on their face or with the window behind them for a nice silhouette effect
But won't my photos be too dark without the flash? And by the way, how do I turn the flash off anyway? No and I'm not sure, all cameras are different. So break out the manual or look up tutorials online and learn how to use your camera, how to change your settings, what all the abbreviations on it mean, how to turn your flash off, all that. You won't regret learning and you'll have some basic knowledge so the rest of this will be easy peasy.
5. Set your White Balance!
Your white balance is what tells your camera what color the light is where you're taking photos. Sure there's an auto setting on it but my experience is, your photos look better if you tell it where you are. Most cameras have AWB (auto white balance), Daylight (Bright Sunlight), Shade (pretty self explanatory), Cloudy, Flash (you're using a flash), White Fluorescent light, and Tungsten Bulb (a normal light bulb) Choose the one that matches the conditions you're in
Set a low-ish ISO. The ISO is basically a standard of how sensitive your camera is going to be to light. The Higher the ISO the more sensitive it is to light meaning the photos will be brighter in lower light. That sounds great except that the higher the ISO the more noise. noise is how grainy an image will appear. So, the best course of action is to set the lowest ISO you can while still having enough light. How will you know how low you can go? read on!
From this point on I'm going to separate readers into two sections, Beginner and Experienced. If you're a beginner keep reading, if you're more advanced skip ahead to number 8.
7. Set your Camera to Aperture Priority Mode
when you take a photo with your camera a little diaphragm inside your lens opens and lets light in. Aperture or F-stop refers to how wide this diaphragm opens. Here's where it gets tricky; the lower the f-stop number, the wider the diaphragm is. Here's an illustration
8. Set your Camera to Manual!
In manual mode you'll have complete control over everything in your photo, it can be a little overwhelming at first but its the best way to get awesome pictures.
9. Set your aperture and shutter speed!
if you're not sure what an aperture is, read number 7 and come back. Shutter speed is how long your shutter or diaphragm stays open. a shorter shutter speed like 1/250 freezes the action and lets in less light, a longer shutter speed like 1/15 lets in more light and blurs the action. you'll want to find a balance between the two and your ISO and get exactly what you're looking for. Try a large aperture and short shutter speed for portraits like f 2.8 and 1/200. Depending on your lighting situation you may have to play around with that. if you have your aperture as wide as it goes and your shutter speed still has to be too low try raising your ISO.
You can see whether your settings are right without taking a photo. Either on the back of your camera or when you look through the viewfinder you'll see something like this
10. Change Shutter Speed first, then Aperture, then ISO!
Having trouble getting your settings right? make changes in the order above. Shutter speed first, if your photos are too dark lower your shutter speed but make sure not to go below 1/100 for portraits especially of kids who aren't known for sitting still. If they're especially rambunctious your may even need 1/125. If your photos are too bright raise the shutter speed, as long as you're not getting under exposed you really can't go too high in shutter speed. Next change your aperture, if your photo is too dark you can make your aperture wider but remember, try not to go too much past 2.8 or you might not have enough depth of field to get the whole face in focus. If your photo is too bright make sure you try shutter speed first because changing your aperture will have an actual effect on how your photo looks aside from just making it darker. I wouldn't go above f-stop 5.2 for portraits. If all else fails change your ISO. Remember, the higher the ISO the less light you need but the more noise you get so go only as high as you have to. Typically, anything over 800 is going to be Very noisy. That's it, Snap away.
If you have any questions, Feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer you. And if this helped you please share us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or anywhere else