Photographing children with endless amounts of energy can be challenging. For most of us, parenthood comes more naturally than photography. And it doesn’t leave much time to pore over a digital-camera manual. That’s why we asked Parents for their best, easiest tips for taking great kid pictures.
Embrace something they love
Embrace something they love. My boys love to role play in costume. So if they aren’t having it when I’m trying to shoot I’ll have them play out a scene in their costumes. It’s a win-win. They love it and I get pictures like this one that reminds me of what they were into at the time.
Tip from Kevin kai: My 3-year-old can be a handful sometimes so when it comes to toddlers and unruly behaviour, chairs are your best friend.Set them up in a chair and give them a job to do. Be sure to have a spotter or be close by to ensure everyone is safe when using a chair. Here my boys were holding and singing to their new baby sister because seconds before this shot she was not happy and my toddler was running all over the place.
Include a friend
Tip from another Mother: If I want to do a particular shoot with my daughter I bring a friend to her. They will play and have so much fun, they barely notice me! In all other cases, I find that my kids almost always will work for chocolate.
Let them be wild!
Tip from John Smith: Kids become uncooperative when you want them to do something they don’t enjoy. If you let them be wild and carefree, you will capture natural expressions and wide smiles! Jumping on the bed, dancing on the couch, shouting really loud… Anything that sounds slightly mischievous will make them happy!
A playful approach
Tip from Tim Eric: A kid will never be uncooperative as long as the portrait sessions look like a fun game. Don’t make them pose, make them play instead! Peek-a-boo is a perfect example of how to capture a smiling face with young kids effortlessly!
Play games with you offspring
When you are dealing with kids who are not wanting to do what you asked or just not having it, you ask them if they want to play a game. Most kids say yes! you ask them if they want to race to me when you say GO or count to 3. Then their minds are off the camera and back to doing what I want them too, smiling and having fun!
Here another tip from Father that, he was shooting siblings in a family session recently and they were not interested with being in the frame together. I decided to ask questions about each other and play “Can You Find” games with them.
Within minutes, they were working together to find something the colour red. After I got my shots, the siblings asked if they could continue to play the game! If your subjects are enjoying themselves, they will remember how they felt and that their photos will have meaning to them.
Professional Photographer suggestion
Tip from photographer shop’s owner: For client sessions, it’s all about parent preparation for me. I tell the parents that we will plan to get one or two “posed” pictures, where everyone is smiling at the camera, and then after that, we won’t focus on poses so much.
I want them to just interact and play with their kids, and follow their lead! If the kids aren’t into an idea that I present, that’s okay! I personally love the candid moments so much better than the posed ones, anyway.