While clicking kids you have to be patient. Be patient. Be patient. Kids have moods, sometimes they are happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes playful and sometimes just want to cry. Another thing I have learned is that kids have their own pace. If your kid don’t want to take pictures, don’t force them. Put the camera aside. Play a little. Let them relax. Once they have opened up, take an experimental shot. Show them themselves on your camera, it is a great icebreaker. If after a while the kid stays in bad mood, let it go. Have a break, do something else, you can always come back to it. While it’s fair to say that child photography can be challenging, it really doesn’t need to be a painful experience. If you’ve got children of your own or friends with kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, it’s always feels great to capture the magic of an exploding smile, the emotion of a child in thought or the expressiveness of a mischievous grin far outweighs the risks of tears and tantrums.
If you’ve ever struggled with photographing children, we’ve got the solution to your problem. We’re going to show you how to take the stress out of child photography and create a natural environment that’ll reward you with winning shots.
Forget about formal settings and posed shots. Those aren’t the ideal situations for taking portraits of children that also express their personalities. For natural-looking child photography we’re going to create a relaxed and casual environment in which children can simply play and be themselves, and while they’re playing we’re going to capture candid images.
This is a great way to capture natural expressions and the children won’t get so frustrated with adults pointing cameras in their faces or shouting at them to ‘say cheese’.
You need to make sure you’ve got the right location for child photography as well as for play, and that your camera and equipment is ready to go, as the children won’t wait for you to tweak your settings and setup. Let’s see how it’s done…
Obviously a child is going to be much more keen to get their picture taken when they’re also having fun. Taking a child to the beach, or a park, or a bridge can create an awesome background and also pique their curiosity allowing them to walk and investigate while you’re snapping frantically. Natural light is the best, so try to create a shooting environment outside using available light. We name this picture a golden pearl.
Before you do anything you need to make sure your camera’s exposure settings are all sorted out. If you’re fiddling with dials or scrolling through menus in the middle of the shoot, not only will you run the risk of missing the shot, but the children will quickly start to lose interest in the whole event. Time is of the essence; use it wisely!
Kids are movers and unless you can work some kind of serious magic your subject ain’t going to sit still for long! Remember that your shutter button is your friend and it likes to be pushed often. Kids also tend to make silly faces when a camera is pointed at their face so it’s imperative that you shoot lots in order to get those few stellar shots of children.
It’s usually a good idea to use exposure compensation. About half a stop overexposed works well. Your subject’s face can often fall into shadow, and this ensures there’s enough detail. The amount needed will vary depending on the location and light, so try a test shot if you’re uncertain.
Once you’ve got your camera set up you should be ready to start. It’s a good idea to start playing a game or engage with some sort of activity with the kids to get started. Don’t bring out your camera until everyone’s spirits are high. However, keep it nearby so you can grab it when you need to.
Once everyone’s having fun, get your camera and fire off a couple of shots. A winning shot isn’t all about big smiles with the subject looking the camera – sometimes a more contemplative shot of a child concentrating on a game or puzzle or eating can be just as engaging.