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Making images of children (especially if they are under five) is quite a challenging task and anyone who has attempted will know what it is like.
Kids usually do not have long attention spans, can be uncooperative (example, when it comes to posing), temperamental and unpredictable (their mood can swing from happy to grumpy any time), but they can be angelic and magical too!
However, if you want to photograph kids, you will need to be very patient and create a strategy that you can use during your photo shoots to photograph kids.
Image by Dagon_
Here Are Five Simple Tips For Better Photos Of Kids:
1. Befriend The Kids:
This is the most important task and if successful, you will be lucky enough to get a few good shots. With kids, just turning up and starting to shoot will not work and so you’ll need to spend some time talking to them, for example about things that interest them, so the kid/s understand that you are friendly and approach you without fear.
You will also need to laugh or become the clown because instructing kids to smile can sometimes get a negative response in return. So you or any adults in the kids’ house can just laugh or crack jokes to get that natural smile from the kids or make funny expressions or moves to get that smile. Even more, ask them NOT to smile and they will smile on purpose!
2. Be As Quick As Possible:
Kids find it difficult to concentrate on anything for a long time, so the first few minutes are the best time when you can get the best-posed images. Once they lose concentration, do not try to control them, but instead let them run around and play and use your creativity to get some interesting images.
3. Get Down Low Into Their World:
You need to get down low to the kids’ level to get good images as shooting from a higher perspective makes them look smaller than they actually are. Also, getting low to their eye level, helps you to interact with your subject, helps get a better background, more details and see things the way kids see.
Image by Anton007P
4. Looking Into The Lens:
This is important to create powerful portraits and this applies to kids as well. Have either the kids’ parents or another relative stand very close or right behind the camera (maybe playing peek-a-boo), can help the kids look straight into the lens.
5. Treat The Kids:
Do not forget this as this is a way of saying thank you for being cooperative. You can treat them at the end of the session, or in between and this can work wonders.
If you treat them to candies or their favourite toys in the middle of the session, you may be lucky to get some candid moments of the excited kids enjoying their treats (these may be the best images).
Image by DivvyPixel
Some Quick Tips:
- Always check for good lighting from the right direction; best to shoot outdoors as kids will also enjoy it
- Try shooting during the golden hour or in diffused light or in the shade when the light is harsh. If indoors, choose diffused window light
- Try using 3D tracking mode if the kids are constantly moving and use a fast shutter speed to freeze motion
- Choose f values wisely if kids are moving as very wide aperture can throw the image out of focus
- Using a zoom lens can give the kid some safe distance so that they do not feel intimidated. This can also help with blurry backgrounds.
- Don’t force the kids to do anything, go with the flow instead
- Lastly, take a lot of photos. This also helps for example, if there are a bunch of kids (two or three) each one’s expression may be different in each photo, so you’ll need a lot of photos to choose better ones.
If you are serious about making beautiful portraits and you want to take it to the next level, you should check out The Art of Portrait Photography by Photzy.