Child photography has proved itself to be a difficult task to accomplish. Typically, the child who is getting their picture taken couldn’t care less and would rather be outside playing. Over the years, I’m sure we’ve all learned a few tricks for child photography, however sometimes convincing a child that you need to take a particular picture can be terribly hard. Overall, child photography is a skill that means you need to be quick with your camera and more or less, play some sort of psychological game to get them happy.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or you are just someone taking pictures of his or her own children, I’ve gathered some information that you may find beneficial. Here’s my advice:
1. Re-think your Equipment:
Normally, a tripod will be the last thing you need when taking photos of kids. Most likely, if you were to use one, you might end up frustrated when working because the kid isn’t going to stay in one spot for a long time. Most kids love to run and jump around and they’re pretty fast at it. Their attention span doesn’t allow them to sit still for long periods of time, so a tripod will end up being pretty useless. As far as shutter speed goes, the higher the better so that you can catch the kid while they’re on the move. Always check your equipment (i.e. batteries, settings, lenses etc.,) before your shoot so that you don’t lose any valuable time or the kids’ attention.
Photo by JandDphotography
2. Pick a great location:
Depending on what type of photographer you are, you may be planning your session at home, in a studio or outside. My suggestion, if you have the opportunity to shoot anywhere outside, at a farm, park or playground, that may be your best bet. A child will be much more flexible in a setting such as these versus anything inside. Not only will it help them to be more comfortable, outdoor pictures can be quite pleasing. Outside the child can play, run around and explore which will create some fantastic shots for you. All you have to do is follow them around.
Photo by Shankpony
3. Get the child involved:
One suggestion that seems to be very helpful is to have the child involved in the photo taking process. It can help in making them less bored and make them feel important. A simple thing you can do in order to get them involved is to take something from the setting you are in and to get them interested in it. You could let them take a picture or ask them questions. The possibilities are endless as long as you have a little creativity and since you’re a photographer that shouldn’t be too hard.
Photo by limaoscarjuliet
4. Close-ups are sweet:
If you’ve been hired to set up a photo session for someone’s child, you should try to get to know them (the kid.) Once you have, try getting down on their level. If you can establish some sort of comfortable relationship with the kid, they will be more willing to participate and many times, they will let you get close enough for some close-up shots.
Photo by quarantinee
5. Shoot at Eye-Level:
Not only are close-ups a great idea, but so are eye-level shots. Of course, as stated in the last suggestion, you need to establish a comfortable relationship; this rings true with eye-level shots. Shooting at eye-level can create a very intimate moment, a moment “worth a thousand words.”
6. The Virtue of Patience:
If you’re a mom, a dad, or a professional photographer, I’m more than sure that you’ve acquired some patience along the way. With child photography however, you must have patience and lots of it. Kids can take a while to get used to you, if you’re a new person, so you need to give them the time they need if you want a successful session.
Photo by Ciril
7. Always be ready. Always be fast:
Did I mention that kids are quick! They are, in fact they are so fast that you’ll surely be worn out after getting your photos. Kids are like movers, they are constantly on-the-go and you never know where they’ll be next. With patience, you also need to learn how to be quick yourself and remain ready at all times. Typically, kids aren’t going to sit still for long, especially if you put them there so be prepared to click your shutter button constantly. Words to the wise, in terms of child photography, it’s better to have too many pictures than not enough.
Photo by SummerWine6
8. Always end your session on a good note:
This advice is more geared towards the professional photographer, but in any case, it might help a parent out too. Whenever the session is coming to an end, make sure the kid is happy. Keeping this in mind and doing it will make them more willing to come back and get their picture taken. You may, if you haven’t already, let them take a picture with your camera before they leave, so they remember being happy when they left. Plus, if you are a professional photographer and you show such compassion, the parents will surely be happy with you and will recommend you to others.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or a parent, certainly this advice will help you the next time you’re taking pictures of children. It’s an excellent idea to think about the location and your equipment before the session so you have the best session possible. Furthermore, you’re likely to succeed if you have patience and a little fun streak in you that will entertain a child. Do you have advice for taking photos of children? What have you found to be successful? We’d love to hear it!