Great Tips For Photographing Children
Here are some great tips for photographing children
So what do the pro photographers have that everyone else doesn't? Better equipment? Yes. Better training? Yes. More creativity? Maybe. Combine these elements and you'll have fantastic photos? Yes, true as well.
But how do they do it and do I need all of the above to do the same? The answer is no. They use simple steps all the time when photographing children.
Many people think that it takes a degree, diploma or thirty years of experience to shoot fantastic shots of kids.
True, those things are contributing factors but really it's years of dedication and learning a few basic principles that makes it work all the time. And, this is the reason we pay pros to shoot our kids. And it doesn't have to be like that.
Here are some simple steps that will help you photograph children like the pros.
1. Allow them to be themselves
Where we learnt that all photos need to be taken with everyone in a row looking at the camera, like in a driver's licence photo, I don't know. Allow the children to be children, within reason of course. Let them do the things they usually do like play, read or work. As soon as you take them outside their comfort zone they become suspicious, fearful and on edge. Make them comfortable and 50% of the battle for great photos has been won. A familiar environment is more conducive to great images than a portrait studio with lights and equipment. Natural is natural.
2. Great interaction for great photos when photograph children
Interaction is paramount to smiles and comfort. When you interact with someone they focus on you and not the camera and other equipment. Get the children to make fun of you and take the attention off them. When they feel more in control of the situation they become relaxed and happier. Happy subjects make happy photos.
3. Never say cheese when photographing children
Saying cheese makes cheesy photos and we can also see this in photos. Who coined this phrase I don't know. Children don't have to smile to make a great photo. A happy child doesn't mean a smiling child. When a natural smile does come out in a photo shoot it makes a fantastic image. It's like the sun breaking through the clouds. Although, a serious look on a child can make an outstanding portrait shot.
4. Let them have fun
Above all let the children have fun. Kids who are enjoying themselves make better subjects and better images can be created. Sometimes a little leeway allowing them to do things they are not usually allowed to do adds to the fun of the occasion. And coupled to this let them decide when the shoot is over and should continue on another day. When the fun stops the setting for good photos is also over. Don't push the children past their limits. You'll ruin any opportunity for future fun filled photo shoots.
5. Use props
Props can be a useful addition to a shoot and actually put a young child at ease. Their favourite toy or book makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. But, don't let it distract the viewer or the child. A prop that dominates or competes for attention with the subject is a big no. Linked to this point is the fun element. If the prop adds to the fun it helps build the shoot to a point of great images.
The pros are not miracle workers nor do they have anything special that is not available to you. They just know how to use their tips, tricks and secrets and when to apply their photo knowledge gained from years of experience. It all boils down to practise, practise, practise. The more you shoot and experiment with your ideas the quicker you will become more natural at it. Always keep an open mind and be prepared to learn as you go along.
Wayne G Turner has been an avid photographer for 40 years. He studied with the New York Institute of Photography and has taught photography and communication privately and institutions for several years. He has completed two books, "21 Steps to Perfect Photos" and "30 Keys to Photography Success".
To download his free e-course and to buy his e-book "21 Steps to Perfect Photos" visit his website at:http://21steps2perfectphotos.com