TIP #1: Get LOW!
Jonelle says her best tip is to get on the same level as the kids... even if it means getting on the ground!
"Getting that really great shot looking straight at your precious little one is my favourite angle. A lot of the times at home we are so used to taking photos from a standing level, looking down at your kids (probably with your iPhone), so getting down onto the same level as the kids gives a different look to what we normally see."
Tip #2 Light.. Sunlight. Window light. Daylight. Flash Light.... Whatever it is.... Look for the light. (After all, isn't photography painting with light...?!
Look for a shady spot in the garden or home... Make sure there isn't a bright light behind your kids (unless you can balance the 'backlight' with a flash or reflector. Instead of standing right in the sun which is very harsh and not very flattering.
Position your kids inside, near an open window. The window light will create beautiful soft shadows on their faces but still give you enough light to make sure your shots are in focus. - Try manual setting on F2.8 (or as low as you can go) for a really 'out of focus' (shallow depth of field) background.
Tip #3 Choose the best time for the kids & have some fun!
Right on sleep time?, Almost dinner time?....
You're probably not going to get the best expressions from your kids...
I love to get the kids talking about things they love!
Ask them to talk and think about things that make them happy, like their favourite person or their pet.
When getting the kids to smile at the camera try getting the kids to say something other than 'cheeeeeeeese'.
Our favourite things to get the kids saying is:
"Love mummy' and 'Nanna's knickers'
These sayings instantly provoke feelings (love, laughter). Capture their reaction to what they said.
Most times they are cracking up laughing so much, you get 3 or 4 shots in a row!