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Seven Best Tips for Photographing Kids

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Kids make great photo subject matter. They’re cute and innocent making them a great central focus for fine art photography. You can also make money shooting portrait photography of people’s children.

The one drawback is that children can be difficult to shoot. They can be moody and rebellious. They also may not be that familiar with their bodies making for awkward shots.

If you are planning on doing a shoot with a child, it’s best to prepare in advance. That way you will be ready for whatever comes your way. Here are a few tips that will help you get terrific shots that leave everyone happy.

Go for Natural

Children may be awkward with their bodies making it difficult for you to get the poses and expressions you are looking for. If you try to force it, they may become cranky making the experience unpleasant.

But the great thing about kids is they look awesome just being themselves. Instead of trying to direct them, encourage them to engage in an activity that they like. Then shoot away.

Talk to Them on Their Level

Whenever you are working with a human subject, you want to communicate with them so they will feel comfortable and have fun. The same goes if you are working with a child. Don’t talk down to them. Rather talk to them as you would any adult while throwing in kid-friendly topics like, ‘how’s school’ and ‘what’s your favorite video game?’

Be Silly

During the shoot, be silly and have some fun. Joke and dance around. If you are having fun, they will have fun and this way pay off with terrific shots that capture the joy.

Shoot From All Angles

As an adult, you may get used to shooting pictures of the child from above. But you should be trying a variety of angles. Shoot from all sides and get down on the floor to shoot the child at their level. Not only will this allow you to capture different types of shots, but it will also make the kid feel more comfortable.

Don’t Tire Them Out

Children will get tired of shooting quickly. It’s best to limit shoots to no more than an hour. This means you won’t want to spend a lot of time fussing around with your equipment so be sure to have as much ready in advance as possible.

Use Natural Light

Children may be intimidated in a studio environment. The harsh lights may also not be flattering to their raw looks and pure emotions. Another drawback of shooting in the studio is, you’ll be spending extra time fooling around with lights.

When photographing children, it’s always best to use natural light if possible.

Use a Wide Aperture

If you are photographing children, you won’t want to go with an aperture smaller than F2. Combine this with an 85mm lens for a terrific, dreamy effect. You will also want to crank your shutter speed to 1/160 because children move around a lot more than adults.

Practice with Family and Friends

Before doing a professional shoot with a child, practice with family and friends. That way you will know what to expect when the time comes.

Consider Parents

If you are taking photographs with a child, it’s a good idea to have a parent on the set. The parent will make the child feel more comfortable and visa versa. And with parent supervision, there can be no question regarding anything you do being considered unethical.

With that in mind, you will also want to ask the parents to avoid getting too close to the shoot. If they are guarding over your every move, it could cause a tense atmosphere.

And if you plan to take a picture of a child outside of a formal shoot setting, be sure to get the parents permission in advance.

Child photography can get you lovely results. Now that you know what techniques to use, you are ready to branch out into this genre of your art. What tips do you have for shooting young ones?


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