Parents are always amazed at how well their kids behave at photo sessions with me. This is not by chance! My approach to photographing children has evolved over the years but the most important things I have learned I will now share. Here are my top five tips for photographing children.
Tips for photographing children
Make it a game:
What child do you know that would be excited to “stand still and smile?“ Not many that I know of. However; if the sentence sounded more like, “Simon says… Stand still! Simon says… jump up-and-down. Jump. Run. Jump. Stop. Simon says stop!” When you approach it like that, laughter and smiles abound.
Get on their level:
Kids are little. They see the world from an entirely different perspective. Literally! They’re so much smaller than we are, and it’s important to remember that difference. Getting down on their level makes a huge difference. The camera becomes accessible as does the photographer. I allow them to reach out and touch the lens, so they become familiar with this giant object pointing at them. I also get pretty amazing photos when the kids get that close.
Let them in on a secret:
Kids love secrets. During every photo shoot we have a “kid conference” during which I tell them that I would like them to run around their parents in circles and then hug them when I say hug. However, the delivery of this information is in the form of a very loud secret told to them so that their parents “can’t hear.” The grins and giggles that result from a shared secret are priceless.
Put them in charge:
When photographing kids, another trick I have learned is to let them lead. If I’m photographing a two-year-old, that two-year-old is in charge. I will follow where they go. Let’s face it: trying to control a willful toddler often results in tears. I will also turn any controlling of the child into a game. I’ll have the parents pick them up and run them to a spot and drop them down. Then, I have them chase them back. That second when they are put into the position is the second I get the photo.
My best tip:
I’ll close with a tip I have used for some great child photographs. Here’s what I have kids do to get a great image. This ties in with the tip above, where I get on their level. After telling them about the camera, I have them look right into the center of the lens… I challenge them to try and see if my eye is open or closed. Then, I tell them it helps if they smile. This works every single time. Kids look right into the camera with curiosity and excitement.
I try my best to produce seriously fun family photography. These are five of my favorite tricks to getting great pictures when photographing kids. For kids and family photography in Mansfield or anywhere in New England, please make sure to reach out. It would be my pleasure to capture your family!