Photographing Babies & Kids | Helpful Tips
Taking photos of kids can seem like a daunting task, but here are some tips that I use that make photographing babies and kids - easy, safe, and fun!
1. Shoot Them As They Are - Not As You Want Them To Be
The beauty of shooting children is capturing them as they are, and the best shots are often impromptu. A lot of times I just let the kiddos run free and do their thing... while I know I'd love to pose them, sometimes that isn't always the case. Plus candids are the best and parents really love them!
2. Take A Lot Of Photos
Children’s expressions change in an instant, as a result, I sometimes take upwards of 30 photos for the same pose. If there are multiple kids, pay attention to each kid and make sure you get an expression you like from everyone. You can always composite the photos later. With multiple people in the same photo, it’s sometimes really hard to get a usable expression from everyone. If you follow the above tip to take lots of photos and get at least one usable photo of everyone, then you should be able to make a composite in Photoshop.
3. Get Down On Their Level
Don’t just show up to the session, jam a massive lens in a child’s face, and start clicking away. Kneel down, introduce yourself, give them a high-five, and chat with them a bit before you start
shooting. This will make them feel more comfortable around you and it helps you get to know them.
4. Have Helpers
Sometimes I’ll have helpers for the session, like parents or grandparents. When I do, I’ll usually instruct them to stand directly behind me and put their faces as close to the lens as possible so the child is looking right into the lens. Sometimes I’ll task the older siblings with helping the younger siblings. It gives them a job and a sense of control over the session.
5. Have Patience
Kids are going to be kids—they are going to want to run around, they are going to have meltdowns, and they are going to need breaks. Sometimes you have to take a break and let kids be kids. Usually I try to keep shooting during these breaks and sometimes end up with great candid shots.
6. Move beyond “Cheese”
Don’t just tell them to say cheese. Be creative, think of things that will make them smile. I work for a Kid’s Photographic Company during the school year and one thing they taught me was to get the kids to say things like: turkey, monkey, silly, happy, pickles, etc. Those types of words create a genuine smile - and trust me it works!
7. Be Goofy
Don’t be afraid to act like a total goofball, make funny noises, jump up and down, etc… whatever it takes to get them to crack a smile. One of my favorite things to play is Peek-a-boo with babies and small children.
8. Just Have Fun
The last and most important thing to remember is to just have fun with it and let your natural talent shine - You’ve got this!