Photographing Children

There are many challenges and opportunities in shooting little ones.  When they learn to walk and ask for things, the game changes.  That being said, they now are more responsive and expressive to your gesturers and attempts to make them smile.  While none of this is a substitute to a professional photographer, these tricks will help you take better shots of those little friends in our lives. 

Get on their level.  GO ahead and lay down, squat and play on the floor.  Thy will look directly into your lens and you are more likely to catch the lights in their eyes.  You are also more likely to capture a sense of scale and proportionality.  

Position them on adult furniture or in more mature environments.  When shooting children it is important to see the world as they do, but also to show them as small and vulnerable.  Putting a kid in a kids seat just makes them look proportional to the world that is much to big for them.  If you take that same shot and insert a large ottoman or kitchen, suddenly your child looks small.  The success of these images depends on the relative environment.  

Give them something to hold into, hand them props and accessories.   For boys this can be hats and toys, for girls it is everything from wands and jewelry to a chair to position themselves on and around.  Giving a boy his dads hat can take the pictures from good to great.  The hat will flop around and be to big, but that is just the point.

Go Crazy.   The more noises and gestures you make, the more likely it is that you are going to get a reaction.  It does not always have to be positive, smiles or frowns, they are priceless. 

Keep shooting.  When shooting 2 children it is best to keep both in the frame and see what happens.  One may smile while the other looks disgusted, this is a good shot.  It shows the contrasting way their minds work and the

Stay Close Together and have an Assistant (whenever possible).  Position the parent near you to keep their focus on the camera, the child will likely follow the face of their parent.  Having an assistant is important for a couple reasons.  The kid needs to focus on one of the other of you.  While the shooter can hold the camera, the assistant can be making noises.  If this is the parent this is the best case scenario, the child trusts their parent and the parent knows how to make the best faces appear.  
Child PortraitsChild Portraits
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