These 10 Steps In Children’s Photography are the building blocks you will need to take great photos. They are simple but many times overlooked and are mostly common sense.
Everyone is a former child and as such, most of us have a not so fond memory of being “dressed up ” to get our pictures taken. Could have been a family day or just so mom and dad could have a keepsake. That is aside from your parents having the standard super 8 or slide camera who thought they should capture everything to show on family nights.
Many photographers say that children are the toughest subjects in the world. I for one have not found that to be true, they make great subjects. They are cute and can give you totally unrehearsed expressions and action and more. You don’t have to ask them to pose, they will do it naturally you just have to give them the time and not rush them. Just pick up a camera sit back and relax and wait for the shot. Tell them what you want and you will not get it.
Kids photography is all about that “waiting” and if you do they will give you what you want, what their parents look for and if you are selling photographs a marketable print. Just put them in a well-lit place with a pet and see what happens. I lay down on the ground, stand on a chair and various other places shooting the pictures and the kids just love. The stupider you look to them the more delighted they become and the betters are.
If the kids are aggressive be the same, shy be the same, happy be the same, whatever their attitude and personality match it and be their friend. When needed put aside the camera and just enjoy some time with them or if they are shy give time to make the first step and warm up to you. The results will be outstanding for you.
1. No Studio
The studio is the downfall of what we are teaching. To get good photos, put the children in the situation that will make them that way. Playtime with other children, a park, a pool in the back yard, are just a few good example of the no studio rule. Do you think you will get that type of productivity with children in a studio?
2. Get Grounded
Simply put be on the ground with the children. Under the chair or table if necessary, try to only be 2 to 3 feet off the floor or ground so you are at eye level with your subjects. Don’t you to look at photos of children where the photographer was above them and you miss their facial expressions.
3. Create the Moment
As we said earlier create the situation then let them become the model naturally. A big ball, a bowl of ice cream, string cheese and see if you don’t get some of the best shots you ever dreamed of.
4. Use a Fisheye Lens
Few people choose to invest in and use a fisheye lens but with children, it is a great investment. A lens that shoots wider helps you capture more of the moment and what is happening in it. For party’s and at times even weddings it can yield dividends.
5. Machine Gun It
Shoot fast, shoot often and shoot some more. We have all seen the proverbial photographer with a fashion model in high-speed shooting mode. With children, the same technique is always best. Adults facial expressions are somewhat set, a child may change theirs 25 times in a minute and you don’t want slow on the button to have you miss some of the best of those 25.
6. Show and Teach
They love to see the pictures you are taking, as times arise where you are at a paused moment show them what is happening inside the camera. Tell them what you like and ask them which ones they like best.
7. Ask Them What They Want
The best way to make a pal, to get a good shot, to make the clients happy is simply ask the kids what they want and if you can give it to them. They know what they like to do, what makes them happy and letting them do and have those things is what will give you the best chance of success.
8. Never Say No
No is just a bad word to any kid, if you want unhappy shots, a face that just won’t work then tell them no to something they want and your moment is ruined. You have them happy, taking good photos and they ask for something, or to do something and you say no. Sadly that may be the end of your day.
9. Have A Helper
Some of the time you may want to be part of the entertainment especially at the beginning of the shoot but as time goes by you will become too involved in the process. That is when having a helper can yield great rewards. They can step in and continue the bonding and entertainment process while you catch the shots.
Their position can also help in the direction the child may be looking, into the camera, off to the side or up in the air.
10. Boo Boos Make Good Photos
If you have a sad moment like a little knock or scrape on the knee don’t stop the camera. Some of the time the not so happy moments are a keepsake too. The whole concept of child photography is to get them in moments that natural and unrehearsed. Moments and expressions that they create not ones that you try to create.
These are the parts of growing up that all children go through and a part of their lives.
Anyone can take these photos if they simply follow steps 1 through 10 as long as you have the time, the patience and the personality for it. Really any camera will do, most situations will do just let the kid inside you come out and play with the other child and you will find the results you are looking for. Once you have mastered the 10 Steps In Children’s Photography above you will be on your way to many happy customers.