A Handy Guide To Photographing Children

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Unlike weddings or portrait sessions, photographing children is a different discipline that requires a whole lot of patience and understanding. That’s because kids need an extra dosage of guidance to help you get the shot that you want in the fastest time possible. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with irritated kids, tired parents on the other end, and a set of images that you won’t be able to use or submit. Fortunately, here are some tips that can be handy to you when the time comes and a client would seek your services in taking portraits of their children.

 

Connection is the key when taking images of children

Connection is the key when taking images of children

 

Connect with Kids.

Just like with any other subject, the secret to great portraits when photographing children is to create a successful connection with them first. Sure, you could talk to them but it’s more important to listen first to what they’re saying. Be genuinely interested no matter how silly or childish their stories are. Plus, this is the chance for you to unleash your inner child and just have fun with them. Don’t mind strangers looking at you. All you need to worry about is the child in front of you and how you’re gonna make him or her comfortable while taking their photos. This act will help you connect and make it easier for them to understand and execute your directions.

 

Playing with them is half the battle won during portrait sessions with kids

Playing with them is half the battle won during portrait sessions with kids

 

Otherwise, all you’re gonna get from them are screams and your words will fall on deaf ears during your portrait session with them. Furthermore, you’re gonna fail the parents who hired you and you can’t expect them to refer you to the people they know.

 

Better Use a Fast Shutter Speed

When photographing children, you’re gonna contend against their speed and mischievousness during the portrait sessions. You can counter their innate childish nature by stooping down to their level. When it comes to their sudden movements, shooting with a fast shutter speed is your best friend.

 

Just make sure there’s a good amount of natural light in your location. Once you have that good light, crank that shutter speed and shoot those kids away folks. If you shooting inside and there’s not enough natural light, better bring a flash or a portable source of light to illuminate your subjects. You’ll be glad to bring those things when the time comes.

 

Choose The Ideal Location

Ideally, a wide open space is the best location when photographing children. You’ll need a lot of room to chase down kids because it’ll be in their nature to move a lot. Just make sure there won’t be any dangerous elements in your location to ensure the safety of the children.

Another tip that can spice up your kiddie portrait session is to get the services of a stylist. These guys would bring their own unique ideas and create a set that will add more to your kids photos. All you need to do is to direct your subjects to be more interactive with the aforementioned set and you’re good to go.

 

Having props and toys can be a big help when shooting kiddie portrait sessions

Having props and toys can be a big help when shooting kiddie portrait sessions

 

Use Props

Speaking of interaction, using props when taking child portraits is a good practice for your session with them. These props allow them to have fun and be themselves without any pressure. At the same time, they would be easier to direct as you take their photographs.

Some props you can use are balloons, stuff toys, giant balls, action figures, confetti, and bubbles. These things can help those kids focus, relax, and be distracted as you do your job.

 

Get The Parents to Join in The Fun

Who says parents should take a backseat when their children are being photographed? Asking them to join in the fun is definitely encouraged folks. As their photographer, it’s your job to create a fun atmosphere parents and their kids can enjoy. With that being said, do all that you can to make the parents relaxed too so they can be themselves when they interact with their kids. Ask them questions about their children to connect more and you’ll have them doing fun poses in no time at all.

Photographing children may seem like a daunting task for most people. In fact, others shy away from it like the plague. That doesn’t need to be the case. Remember that they’re kids and all they need is someone who can connect to their level folks. If you may have other tips that can help photographers when capturing portraits of kids, do share them in the comments below.

By |2017-03-20T09:19:59+00:00March 21st, 2017|Categories: How-to Tips|4 Comments

About the Author:

mm
As a child, I've always been in love with stories and how it can change my idea of the world. As I grew older and got my first camera in 2008, I learned to translate that love of stories into photographs of anything and everything I’ve encountered. Since then, I’ve always made it a point to inject a sense of wonder and creativity into every shot I take. Eventually, it lead me to a whole world of amazing possibilities - weddings.
 I first started way back in 2010, learned under some of the best wedding and portrait photographers and never looked back since. This paved a path towards something that fulfills me artistically and keeps me sleepless at night with all the amazing ideas floating in my head. I love the thrill of weddings and the nostalgic atmosphere the day brings upon my creative side.

4 Comments

  1. TheManric2401 March 21, 2017 at 10:14 AM - Reply

    Hello there. I once had a portrait session with the most obnoxious kid ever. I even imagined beating the crap out of him because he threatened to hit my camera but the better of me prevailed. Do you have any tips when it comes to handling this kind of children?

    • mm
      Julio Munar March 21, 2017 at 2:40 PM - Reply

      It’s a good thing you were patient with the kid or else you’re gonna end up in jail. When it comes to that kind of kid, it’s best to play with him first. Set your camera aside and play a game where you can direct his energy to something constructive. Afterwards, give him a reward for every successful pose he accomplishes. If this fails, ask for the assistance of his parents.

  2. ThatGirlOnTVNow March 21, 2017 at 10:51 PM - Reply

    I’ve been assigned to shoot a 5-year old inside a playhouse and I only have my trusty kit lens to do the job. Do you think that would be enough?

    • mm
      Julio Munar March 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM - Reply

      As I’ve said, shooting kids indoors can be challenging if your equipment isn’t up to that task. Better rent a flash and some wireless triggers for a reliable light source. Ask a friend to tag along too to assist you. With some light, you won’t need to worry about slow shutter speed when shooting kids.

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