Photographing children is fun but can be hard work at times. Here are some of my tips to take your snapshots from just that to something more wall worthy. Of course there are a lot more technical tips I could share with you too but I thought I’d keep this short, sweet and fun.
1. Have fun
Seems obvious but if you let the kids have fun and do their own thing and be a bit silly then they are more likely to enjoy themselves, and hopefully just forget about being photographed. You don’t want it to become a chore for them or you!
2. Shoot swap with a friend
I must say, I am not really one to worry if the kids won’t pose for you as I think the most beautiful photographs are those natural ones where they are just caught being them BUT if you did set out to get a specific shot and the kids just won’t play ball then why not swap with a friend? What I mean is, you photograph your friend’s children and your friend yours. You just might find they respond better to someone they are less familiar with.
3. Get in close
A full on close up portrait can have real impact. It doesn’t have to be of their faces either. This photo of my son’s little feet is just adorable don’t you think? That was taken when he first had a dip in the sea at 5 months old. The North Sea may I add in March…hard as nails! 🙂
4. Brave the weather
You don’t need sunshine for great portraits in fact an overcast day produces more even diffused light which will actually make your job of exposing your images much easier. So wrap up warm and brave the chilliness!
5. Create shade
If you are at the beach on a really sunny day and you are finding the light difficult to work with then use a towel to create a bit of shade. That way they won’t be squinting either.
Try using a zoom lens – that way you can be further away and your agenda will be more subtle. This way you are more likely to be able to capture natural moments…which are just the sweetest! I love this shot that I took at a wedding last winter of a very dapper little chap snuggling into his mummy’s fur coat.
7. Keep the background plain
Particularly with little ones I would advise that you keep the background plain so they don’t get lost in the shot/fussy details and they POP out of the photograph. A plain wall, rustic door, the lawn or beach are all good examples.
8. Frame them with the background
Or alternatively use your environment to frame your subject like I have with this little rowdy chap here. 🙂
9. Promise them a treat
…but don’t stuff them with treats! Let them destroy them after they have done the job!
10. Use props
A prop could be a toy they love, a tree, a park bench, a swing… Using props is an excellent way of getting the kids to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.
I hope you find these tips useful. I would love to see your efforts on our facebook page!