Essential Tips on Photographing Children

 

Whether you are a loving parent or a doting aunt or someone who simply enjoys photographing children, Conchita Fernandes shares eight tips on how you can make memorable photos of children.  

This article was originally published in May 2014.

Children are the most adorable, yet sometimes difficult subjects to photograph. But don’t let that dampen on your spirit! Here are eight simple tips to get you started on photographing children.

Photograph/ Chloe (@chloeuberkid)

Photograph/ Chloe (@chloeuberkid)

The Best Camera for You
There is no right or wrong camera that one can use to photograph children. It actually boils down to what you find convenient or the device with the best quality. There is nothing simpler than a cellphone camera in your hand, while you are busy chasing your child, nephew or niece for a photograph. It is the most compact and convenient device. But if image quality is of paramount, then a DSLR is the way to go!

Engaging Them
If you are going to approach the child like an adult, then say goodbye to your chances at getting a good photograph. Kids love to be engaged, and you can do that by using props. The props could be anything from a favourite toy, to a specific food item that they enjoy, or even costumes. Plan an activity around these props to get the best reaction out of them. Or you could also take them to their favourite park or place to visit, and record their interaction with the environment.

Photograph/ Sarah (@sarahalchmist)

Photograph/ Sarah (@sarahalchmist)

Encouraging Them
As much as kids love props, they are also very likely to get distracted or bored of these items. One of the ways to hold on to their attention, is to find ways to encourage them to pose for the camera. You could do this by showing them the pictures you shot of them, letting them know that you appreciate their photographs. You could also let them hold the camera device and allow them to browse through their images. You want to make them feel important.

Avoid Flash
This is in context to when you are photographing babies or toddlers. You want them to smile for you and not cry out of anguish at being blinded by the camera’s flash. Plus, newborns are very sensitive to any kind of bright light.

Photograph/ Manish Chauhan

Photograph/ Manish Chauhan

Making Use of Modes
Depending on what your device features, make sure to try out either the sports or kids mode. Since children are naturally super active and run around pretty much all the time, the sports or kids mode may help you shoot a good picture of them in motion. Alternatively, the burst mode will give you plenty of photographs documenting every single moment of the event.

Keep Calm and Breath
Most adults are guilty of losing their calm or patience when around children. You need to understand that kids can get moody and cranky beings. If you upset them, it might be difficult for you to regain their trust and playful nature. So make sure to never let your frustrations get the better of you!

Photograph/ Veronica Taylor (_momstheword)

Photograph/ Veronica Taylor (_momstheword)

Avoid Saying ‘Cheese’
The moment you mention the words ‘say cheese’, children will automatically put forward their best ‘photograph face’ before you. While one or two photos of this kind are okay, try as much to capture them in their natural state. This is because they look best in their natural element.

Constantly Switching Your Vantage Point
While getting down to their level is one of the best ways to shoot children, you can also have kids look up to you into your camera lens. These make for interesting photographs as well.

Photograph/ Balaji Durai

Photograph/ Balaji Durai

At the end of the day, it is always going to be a case of trial and error when it comes to photographing children. Every child is different and so, you need to figure out ways to penetrate their personality. While you are busy figuring this out, embrace the child within you. It will make photographing children a lot more fun.

Tags: Camera, portraits, kids, child, flash, say cheese, patience, food, vantage point, props, Conchita Fernandes, babies, activity, Sports Mode, Burst Mode, cellphone, may 2014, instagram, Veronica Taylor, Children Photography, Comapct, DLSR, Convinience, Engaging, Encouraging, Psoing, Toy, Costumes, Interaction, Toodlers, Sensitive, Shooting Modes, Kid Mode, Portrait Mode, Chloe, Sarah, Mnaish Chauhan, Balaji Durai