Photographing Children – 9 Mindset Tips

Photographing children is the most enjoyable photography genre, however, it becomes difficult if your model doesn’t sit still, doesn’t smile the way you want or is just not interested in posing anyway. When specifically asked to pose, the kids would definitely tend to do the opposite & make faces or have an expressionless face or be least interested. But then, how does one go ahead with this ‘most enjoyable genre’?
For this, you need to take a different approach and that is the most important thing of all, ‘Making your kid model comfortable’.

Below-mentioned are a few tips to get your mindset ready while photographing children:

1. Make Them Feel Comfortable

Do not rush the kids for quick photos. Make them comfortable and be at ease with the surroundings, be patient.
Though clicking at studios or using professional studio set-up has its own advantages of controlled light and clean backgrounds, you can also consider taking kids out in garden or their favorite place where they are most comfortable. Also, consider surrounding them with their favorite toys, books, etc. So that you get some candid captures. But please make sure, the place is well-lit so that the captures turn out amazingly well.
Do not rush the kids for quick photos. Make them comfortable and be at ease with the surroundings, be patient.
Though clicking at studios or using professional studio set-up has its own advantages of controlled light and clean backgrounds, you can also consider taking kids out in garden or their favorite place where they are most comfortable so that you get some candid captures. But please make sure, the place is well-lit so that the captures turn out amazingly well.

2. Let Them Be

Making the kid stand where you want and asking them smile or pose rarely works. Let them roam, dance, explore their surroundings, play, jump, be active, the way kids are meant to be. Do not show them videos, they get engrossed with the device and you do not get good shots, but you can make them listen to their regular music. And then you will get all the natural poses, smiles & gorgeous expressions – Capture them.
I must say that I have encountered several professional models that do not abide to the instructions from the photographers, let alone the kids.

3. Be Alert

When photographing children, there is no way you can keep the camera down as you never know when the opportunity for a great shot would be available. As kids never stay at one place for very long, it is photographer’s job to be equally active and agile. For kids are not following any particular pattern of movement it would be very difficult for photographers to compose tight shots.
Be alert & observant, the best shots are awaiting.

4. The Best Angle

Getting down to the kid’s eye level is the most appropriate position for photographing children mainly because the angle is great and you will also be more approachable. Thus, making the kid comfortable. Captures from this perspective look much natural and not distorted than the top angle, which capture false proportions. Being at kid’s eye level also ensures high chances of eye contact of the kid with the camera lens. Giving you more interactive shots.
Having said that, it is not the only best angle of photographing children. Exploring more contemporary angles can yield a good variation in overall photoshoot.

5. It’s Not Just About The Smile

Kids are very expressive and each of their expression is adorable. Be it their grins, frowns, crying faces, laughter, subtle smiles or funny faces, each of them, is a unique pose for you. Just play along patiently and they will flood you with their expressions & natural poses. Capture them at their best.
Try not to over-talk to them or instruct them to smile constantly. If they follow your instructions, you’ll notice that their smile starts becoming fake over time and the photos will lose their charm.

6. Hide & Click

Yes, sometimes this does work. Kids often get shy or conscious when you get the camera in hand and start clicking. Kids, now-a-days are really smart and immediately know that you are trying to photograph them. You may mess up the shots which you thought would be amazingly captured.
To avoid that, you can sometimes just hide & click pics when your kid is engrossed in his/her activity, and that is how you can capture some perfect candid moments. Candid shots produce the most memorable results as the subject is relaxed & not trying to pose & hence, doesn’t get camera-conscious either.

7. Don’t Be Forceful

If you find that in spite of number of efforts & tricks the kid isn’t really comfortable, then, it’s time to put down your camera & allow some time to pass until the kid gets relaxed.
Indulge the kid in some activity. If you think that passing time may change the lighting conditions that you are in, then it is best to postpone the shoot to the same time next day. But don’t force the shoot on the kids. After all, even you wouldn’t like the same to happen with you, if you are uncomfortable. Right?

8. Take Variety Of Shots

Nowadays, you can capture as many images as you want in the digital cameras as long as you have free space in your memory card. Make the most of this advantage and capture variety of shots like full-length, waist length, close-ups, sitting postures, jump in the air & so on. In fact, for new-born baby photography, close-ups of their tiny hands, feet and facial features is recommended and is highly trending.
You definitely can capture as much as your card feels, but do not forget to learn from the mistakes from these tons of photographs. This retrospection is your chance of getting better at photographing children.

9. Make It Enjoyable

Last but not the least, it’s very important that you make the shoot more enjoyable so that kids would want to do it over & over again. Let them get involved, answer their questions, show them the clicks so that they know what is actually happening, ask them to choose the ones they like – this will keep them more involved in to the shoot, thus, making it easier on your part.

These mindset tips will definitely make photographing children easier for you. There must be a lot of other ways to deal with kids to make a successful photoshoot. Do tell us your ways in comments. Follow PhotoHelp section of this blog for more such tips on various photography topics.

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Angad Joshi

Angad Joshi

Angad Joshi is a freelance professional photographer. He runs photography studios by the brand name TimeFrame Studios in Pune and Dombivli. He indulges in Food, Fashion, Product and Wedding Photography and has a team of his own. He loves conducting indoor and outdoor photography training programs and photography tours of various genres across India.

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