Photographing Children: A Few Essential Tips on Working with Kids

kids photography
It seems like everyone posts, emails, or otherwise shares photos online these days. However, how many of those photos are somewhat blurry, were taken in low lighting, or were heavily edited using various phone applications? Although many parents can capture great candid snapshots of their kids, there are many benefits to booking a professional photography session. Not only will the images be clear and crisp, but the set will also showcase your entire family as well as individual personalities and relationship bonds. Make your session more successful with these must-have tips for photographing children:

Practice Posing

Family portrait sessions include a few posed shots, the kind typically seen in school photos or on Christmas cards. To help your kids feel comfortable, explain the upcoming photo shoot and make a game of sitting in different poses. Set a timer on your digital camera or smart phone so that they can see that the goal is getting a group shot. Depending on their ages, you could even pick up a few photo frames and have them each decorate one to display later in their rooms or throughout the house. An activity like this will help little ones see both the importance and benefit of having a photo session without making it too much of a big deal. It also provides them with a great childhood keepsake!

If practicing posing, however, make sure not to have them hold any one position for too long. Although wiggly kids are challenging to photograph, anyone who tightens up to hold a pose will look stiff and uncomfortable in the resulting image.

Prepare to Work Around the Cheesy Grin

To take your practice session one step further, considering visiting the location with your little ones in tow. Let them play in and explore the area as you take a few casual snapshots. This way, they will be used to having someone take photos without feeling the need to grin every time the camera turns their way. Next, try asking one of your children to turn directly to the camera as you make a silly face or tell a joke. Avoid saying a trigger word, such as “cheese!” or “smile!” Instead of over-widening their smiles into something forced, your kids may begin to understand what a natural smile really feels like.

If that does not work, try this trick. Encourage your child to make grumpy faces, then silly faces, and then smile. The chances are that those final shots will be of a beautifully relaxed and natural smile! After all, the goal while photographing children should be to photograph what is genuine and real. Working around a fake smile can be a challenge, but a little bit of experimentation and creativity goes a long way into taking pictures worth keeping.

pet photography

Let Them Get the Wiggles Out

In addition to capturing posed, formal family portraits, your photographer should actively work to capture candid moments. Dress your kids in comfortable clothes and let them climb a tree, play a game together, build a sand castle, or play on park equipment. A few clicks of the camera will capture your children laughing, smiling, and playing freely and genuinely. Candid shots are the best way to capture individual personalities as well as tight-knit sibling or child-parent bonds.

As a photographer, I often let the little ones take the lead for part of a shoot, as I will happily follow them to a new piece of playground equipment or crawl on the ground to get a truly great shot. You shoot should be fun and enjoyable, as the best images come when everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.

Incorporate a Pet or Prop

Is your youngest one camera-shy? Does your middle child have trouble sitting still or focusing? Try incorporating your family dog into the shoot. The kids can sit or play with the dog, which might make them feel more comfortable and less shy in general. Alternatively, bring along your toddler’s favourite toy or even a few books. Kids can cuddle their stuffed animals, dig on the beach, or examine a pile of shells. Alternatively, you could have older siblings can read to younger ones or organize a game. Do whatever will help your little ones feel happy and at ease.

Book Your Session Today!

Do you need an updated family portrait, but are afraid that your little ones will not sit still long enough? I have years of experience photographing children, including newborns, multiple children, and children with special needs. I want your kids to have fun on the shoot, because those are the memories worth capturing and keeping. Contact me today with any questions or for more information about booking a session.

Talk Soon,
Margherita :)

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