While photographing children seems like an extremely pleasant prospect, it’s quite tricky as well.
When it comes to adults, you can always tell them how to pose, how to hold their breath or how to smile for a photograph, but that’s not the case with kids. Of course, you don’t want to take pictures of a kid who is in a bad mood or is unhappy with you photographing him.
This whole process is uniquely challenging, whether you are photographing your own children or some random kids on the street for your portfolio. A lot of factors should be taken into account while shooting images of the young tikes, and that’s what we are going to talk about today.
In this article, we are going to jot down a few essential tips that every photographer must consider for capturing images of children. So, if you really want to capture the best moments in your camera.
Believe it or not, combining the factors and tips mentioned below can work wonders for your child photography skills.
1. Photograph them in their natural state
Let’s face it. Kids are naturally cute and sometimes even candid when they are crying, which are some ideal moments to capture that photo. While we aren’t asking you to photograph crying or cranky kids, it’s a good idea to photograph kids in their natural state. Ask any photographer out there, and they’ll tell you that the best shots are always impromptu. Most importantly, when it comes to photographing children, you need to let them be comfortable.
What makes children’s portraits stand out is that they don’t fake emotions. If a kid is smiling, he’s happy, and if you are successful in capturing that one beautiful smile in your camera, you’ll be amazed by the outcome. Don’t use a “set” to photograph kids; try capturing their images when they are themselves. For example, take photographs when they are playing in the ground or laughing or smiling at random places.
2. Skip the pose guide
Just like kids don’t know how to fake emotions, they don’t know how to fake poses. Even if you make a kid stand in a particular way or in a specific position, you won’t be able to get as great of a shot as you can when they are all candid and natural. Throw away the pose guide and let the kids be themselves. In case you aren’t getting you desired shots this way, simply move on to something else.
Another essential rule to follow is never to finish the shoot all of a sudden, even if it’s not in accordance to your requirements and needs. This is because if you pack up quick, the child will be affected and they might think that they’re committed a mistake. You don’t want to stress out the child, right? Simply take your photographs and then pack your things up. Who knows when you look at those shots again, you find “the one” picture that seals the deal?
3. A little silliness can work wonders
You can’t just tell a kid how to pose and what to do, especially if you are looking for some beautiful shots. It’s a simple child photography rule. However, what you can do is act a little silly with them. Wait, what? You heard us right. After all, how hard it can be to play along with the child? Dancing a little or playing with the kids and singing with them is the best thing to do.
With this little silliness of yours, the children will become even more comfortable with you, and that’s when they’ll actually “listen” to you. Once you make the child comfortable, you can then take as many shots as you want. It’s a little time consuming, but the end result is always going to be worth the effort.
4. Opt for natural lighting
You need to learn the difference between shooting adults and shooting kids. These two demographics are totally different, and you need to use different tactics in both cases. For example, when it comes to taking photographs of children, you need to use as much natural lighting as possible.
Instead of preparing a whole set for shooting, you should use natural lighting and natural environment. For example, you can find an outdoor location where the light and the shadows are totally in accordance with what you need. Using a studio and trying to capture natural, candid photos of children is a near impossible thing. So, act wise and prepare an outdoor set for your session.
5. Use wide apertures for maximum effect
Using an aperture smaller than F2 for kids is mere foolishness. You can only do this if you are in an urban setting and it’s the story that’s making you keep the aperture smaller. For the best results, use as large of an aperture as possible.
For the dreamy effect, all you have to do is to make sure that there’s enough space between the child and the background. On top of that, consider using an 85mm or a longer lens. If you have some money to spend, then we’d recommend you to go with 70mm to 200mm lenses. These buys are known for delivering high-quality results that can even be sold commercially.
6. Don’t forget to practice
Before thinking about a professional shoot, make sure to do as much practice as you can. You’ve got kids in your own family, right? If yes, then take photographs of them first. Experiment with different lights, different angles and different poses.
If you want to make a career out of child portraiture and if you’re going to start earning money with your photographs, then we repeat that you must begin with extensive practice in your house and on the streets. To become a great photographer, you don’t need the investment of money. All you need is the investment of time. Keep at it, and you’ll soon begin to witness the results on your own because hard work eventually pays off.
7. Strive for word of mouth recognition
Photography is a word of mouth business, and the sooner you understand this, the better it will be. Social media is the key to harnessing the power of these marketing tactics. Post your photographs on social media in JPEG format and make sure to put watermarks on them so that no one can steal your photos.
If you really want to do a business out of child portraiture, then you also need to invest in advertising. An even better option would be to have your own website. All of this investment of your time and a little money will show you the results that you are expecting.
These are some of the best tips to consider for taking photographs of children. We’ve covered almost all of the best practices that will help you achieve the best results. So, without wasting any more time, just pick up your camera, head to the park or the street and start practicing your child photography skills. Practice and experimentation are all you need in this field; it’s all that matters.