Photo – How to Take Photos of Your Children
A famous American actor, comedian, juggler and writer W.C Fields (1880-1946) have pronounced “Never work with children or animals” and that is what many photographers or filmmakers are feeling when they trying to make a production including children or animals. Children have a lot of energy, but they do only what they want for the moment. If you say something like “stand still”, “don´t do that” or “smile”, you shouldn´t be surprised if comments like this lead to a completely opposite reaction as a result.
Try to direct children to a pose and you can be sure they tend to presume a weird, twisted position or do something strange that they never normally do. You need to have a new approach, a good method to avoid this situation when trying to direct them.
To success with portrait photography of little ones, from crying newborns and rowdy toddlers to stubborn preschoolers and grouchy teenagers you need a different approach. It doesn´t matter whatever they are feeling shy, nervous, grumpy or defiant, you need to tease out their individual best side. The most importantly is to make your child feel comfortable and enjoy the situations of photo shooting. There are some tips for success photographing children:
Follow the Children
In an ideal world you can place the children where you want them, asking after a smile and directly get a nice one, but it doesn´t work for a long time in the real world. Let the children roam, explore their surroundings and any objects what capture their interest. Concurrently, you can see a plenty of smiles, gorgeous surprise expressions and nice curiosity look in their face. Don´t force them, but instead catch the moment.
Not Only Smiling Faces
Parents with newborns can spend hours every day just to look at the little ones and their expressions they make. Even then the babies grow up they still possess an array of different grins and grimaces what show their personality and it nice then you can catch it on photos or a movie. A good way to appeal a nice expression and pose from a child for a photo is to ask them something in particular as: Do the cloud look like something? Can you jump high? How does the world look like when you are upside down?
Create a Home Feeling
You can´t stress forth and get a good result, then take photos of children. You need to have to be patient and take time to let them get used to the situations and what´s going on. A photo studio can be really boring and unnatural place to be in, so chose a location what feeling special for you and your children. A place at home, your favorite playground outside, at the beach or in a park can be perfect. A familiar situation makes us all relax both for the children and the photographer, and candid photo shoots in a familiar environment tending often to be the best photos of children.
Always Have the Camera Ready
Every second with children is an opportunity to shoot a good photo. Children are very fast and hardly can be still in one place for long, put your camera down for a moment and you will miss it. So, watch and shoot photos constantly, then you let their little one’s creativity flowing. Do the children funny faces, so let them do that. If you contain shoots, especially with nowadays cameras who can take severally images per second, soon or later their faces will drop a little and you will get a nice real photo. Still, a photo of funny faces has a charm as well.
See it From the Children’s Perspectiv
A big adult with a big camera hiding their face, shooting photo from a standing position can be scary for a little baby. Instead, go down on your knees, crouch down or maybe even lay down on the floor to meet them at the same heights. Be acceptable for them and avoid bad angels or skewed proportions at the same time. Let the viewer of the images come into the children’s world instead be an outside distance viewer.
Use Your Camera’s Performance
To catch a good photo shoots of children in action are not easy, but if you and your camera are fast enough you can make amazing lively images. Set your camera at high ISO and use a fast shutter speed for “freezing moments”. An automatic camera should set for sports or high speed photos. Of course you have the camera ready in shooting position for success.
Be Creative and Varying your Photo Shoots
After you have taken lots of full body shoots, then try to move closer and focus on their little feet, their busy hands or their cute faces. A photo of a child’s hand holding a butterfly or building a sandcastle can be a fantastic photo and show a lot of personality and body language.
Take Sneaky Shoots
When your children are completely involved and engaged in something there are counterproductive to interrupt them and spoil a good photo opportunity. Start to shoot photos without telling, a sneaky moment, and see how naturally the images you get then the children are relaxed and with full focus on something, not trying to pose or look straight into the camera’s lens.
Respect the Children
If the children not in the mood for your photo enthusiasm, then don’t force them. Respect them as individual persons and their privacy as well as their self-confidence. Everyone has a different personality and good or bad days. Some people, both adults and growing ups, are very shy and vulnerable, so let them decide if they want to be photographed and in that situation. If you wanted to take sneaky photos, be sure that is not to harm them.
Being Photographed Shall be Fun
It doesn’t matter if you are new or professional photographer who trying to take good photos of your children, as a buddy playing together or a classic portrait, you need to make it fun so the children wanted to do it many times. Involved them in the photo process and let them take photos of you for a change. Show them the results of the photo session and let them chose which images you shall edit or enlarge. There are some robust and cheap automatic digital cameras out in the market today that suits fine to use for children. Buy one of those and let the children explore the photo world by themselves.