As a father and photographer I have seen many different ways of taking children’s photographs. Many pictures that I see are posed and very cute and some are candid. I like to capture images of children in a different way, or during what I call “The Ten Minute Photo Session.” Being a father has taught me that if you want to get images of a happy kid, you have about 10 minutes before they lose interest and get cranky. I like to get the little one to the photo shoot destination and get them playing with something that interests them. It could be a book, a certain toy, a blanket or even a rock, but the point is to have them focused on something other than the camera. This is where mom or dad come in big time, because they know best what their little one likes. While mom|dad and little one are busy playing, I typically am on the floor, usually flat on my stomach moving around and taking photos. During this short session an unbelievable amount of pictures can be taken.
If the children are a bit older, they might not need a toy because they can more easily communicate. Sometimes they will tell me a story or point at a “boo boo” and sometimes they are just wondering about the camera that is right down in front of them and their little personality will begin to shine through.
When they have had enough of the session, they let you know quite quickly! This doesn’t always mean that the session is over because sometimes those sad faces and little tears turn out beautifully. Be mindful that this part of the session is where you walk a fine line between upset and total meltdown. You need to be aware of when stop and take a break for a treat or when to call it quits for the day.
So, here are my Three Tips For Taking Better Photos of Your Children.
1. Let them play, talk and move around
2. Get down to their level
3. Know when to quit
Yes, lighting and backgrounds really help with your photos, but if you are in a spot where the light is decent and your child is comfortable you’ll get at least one photo you love.