Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Tips and Tricks to Photographing Children

Last week I had the honor of guest posting for Jessica who blogs at Diary of a Beautiful Soul. Thank you Jessica! Since Jessica and I don't have too many mutual followers I thought it would be nice to publish the post I wrote for my guest post here too.

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Photographing children is tough to master. I have been taking pictures of kids for several years. With a little sister and eight nieces and nephews, I have many opportunities to experiment. I have found a few tips and tricks that I find very helpful.

1. Take at least two of the same shot. Who knows if they blinked or made a face. You can go back and delete those that didn't turn out, but at least you have extras.

2. Make silly faces and say silly things. Have some jokes ready or a funny line or noise. I've even been known to put sticks in my hair to look like I have antennae! It got many giggles.

3. Stay calm. If the toddler wants to get up and move around, gently and calmly take her back to the place she is supposed to be. If you get frustrated then it will only make children frustrated. You need to make the child/children feel at ease.

4. Have patience, even if it takes longer than you thought it would. Go with the flow. Kids don't stay still so if they move or talk or cry just take a minute to regroup or change positions.

5. Have fun! Let the kids make a silly face or sit/stand the way they want. It renews their interest in the session and gives a fresh perspective.

6. Let them choose a background. If they pick a place to pose, then it usually speaks to them. Sometimes they'll find a place you hadn't even thought of.

7. Take candids. Those are some of the best pictures I've gotten. As they are getting into postition during a photo shoot or while playing with their toys or smiling at their daddy...

8. Think about the right place to pose. If photographing boys, try having them lie in the grass or sit in a tree. But if you are having a photo shoot with a girl, then maybe the park bench or beside the pretty flowers would be the better backgrounds. Get a feel for the personality of the child and pose accordingly. It will be a more natural picture.

9. Allow for short breaks. If you have a bit of a break in between, then the kids come back refreshed and ready to start again.

10. Check where the sun is shining. Even the slightest angle might make the picture turn out much better. If the sun is shining in their faces, then they will have to squint. If you want the sun behind them, then try out different angles and see which is better or achieves the look you want.

Of course, sometimes these tricks don't apply. Say you just have few minutes. Then you won't need a break. If the child is baby or toddler, he can't choose a background that he likes. Little kids won't need jokes or funnies, but they will respond better to their name being called or a noise that's different to them.

Remember, practice makes (almost) perfect. The more you try the better you will get. I still have a lot to learn, but I find that after each session I have improved, even if it's just a slight bit.

Added after published:
Being inspired by this post, I have done photo shoots of each of my nieces and nephews that live close. You can find them here:


Cheryl said...

Great tips! And the proof is in the pictures!

Savories of Life said...

Who will bring up the children?
Lord restore this mothers heart, make it tender toward her children
Won’t you also make my heart willing to raise children,
Oh the world says success never stay at home,
And its plainly found in offices and telephones,
Oh but who will guide the tiny feet
That can’t find there way alone
Tell me who will bring the children to your throne?
The world makes you tired and empty, worn down by daily grind
No time for little ones
Only hurry, hurry,
Oh let me bring them to the Father, lead them in one by one
Let the Holy Spirit draw them through his son.
Show them that He loves them, help them to understand
First teach me.
That I might be the one to guide them
Based on a song Who Will bring the children by Kelly Willard and Duncan & J. MacIvor

come see my giveaway!

Vee said...

Kati, those are excellent tips. These shots are very special. I love the group shot where each child is on a stone. That serves to keep them corralled a bit, I think. I even like the photo where the sun is on their faces. Variety is the spice of life! Have you ever thought of opening shop as a portrait photographer?