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If you like photographing children, it can be both rewarding and profitable. Taking pictures of children is no easy task and if it\’s something you don\’t love doing, the child (or children) you are photographing will know, making it that much more difficult to get the shot you want.
Tips for Capturing Children on Film: You may think you know it all when it comes to taking pictures, but all of that may go out the window when photographing children. Using the typical vocabulary that is called for in standard photo shoots (like \”freeze and \”hold it) will only get lost on a child. Anticipation is key for you to predict a child\’s actions and capture them on film.
Photographing children takes a special skill, as most children (depending on age) will not always do what you ask of them. As a photographer, you need to know and understand that children will not always be cooperative just because they are going to have their picture taken. Photographing children may require a great deal of imagination on your part to get them to do what you need in order to capture a great picture. Sometimes, you may have to trick them into doing what you want them to do. Use whatever means necessary to get the shots you need.
Before even beginning a photo session with a child (or children), you have some work to do. First, you need to make sure you know your camera inside and out. You then need to know what role you play in getting the best pictures possible. The child or children you are photographing will require 100% of your undivided attention- you have to ask yourself if you\’re capable of delivering that. You won\’t have any opportunities for wasted time- a child won\’t stand for it. They have very little attention spans and what they do have, they will be watching you to see that you are focused on them at all times. If you try and get the pictures as fast as possible, that won\’t work either; the key for that all important photograph is getting the child\’s cooperation.
Know your subjects – With children, you must expect the unexpected. At different ages children are capable of doing different things. The more you know what they typically do during some of these stages, the better images you are going to capture. And the happier you make your clients – which, in turn, makes you financially happy.
Unlike most other fields in photography, when taking pictures of children, you can expect to obtain a wide variety of poses, expressions, and behaviour during the session. Be aware of different age groups: a 4-month-old baby will act differently that a 14-month-old one will. Learn how children of different ages respond. The more equipped you are to handle children of varying ages, the better pictures you will get.
Listening to the parent can help toward a successful session. You can learn specific things about their child that will make it or break it: Are they afraid of certain things or sounds? What are their special likes? Do they like books? How comfortable are they with a stranger approaching them? You do NOT want to spook a little one; the scheduled time may not allow for you to win their confidence.
Be ready with that camera when you first introduce something new -you do not get a second chance to get first reactions!
In most areas of photography a tripod is great for sharp photos. However with child photography you do not always have such a luxury. Once they reach the moving around stage, a tripod limits your ability to capture expressions and poses. Be mindful of your camera settings – keep that shutter speed fast enough to prevent blurring – and be ready to move quickly!
Child photography allows for close-up portraits as well as the child engaged in some activity – taking their socks off – in a box / tub with toys – climbing on or out of something. There is really no limit. As you continue to gain experience in working with children of various ages you will become more adept at learning what typically works with different age groups.
There is no question that photographing children is a challenge. And just when you might start to feel comfortable doing it, along comes a new challenge – multiple subjects. Dealing with twins, triplets, etc. will really test your skills as child photographer! But don\’t worry, this is part of the job and over time you will learn tricks to keeping all your subjects engaged.
When capturing a child or children on film, get creative when trying to get their attention; use different techniques and use them quickly as you won\’t have the time to try again. Using a digital camera can help in this regard as there are no limits to the amount of exposures you can take and luckily, you can look at the pictures very quickly as you go.
As you advance in child photography you will want a lighting set-up and a backdrop. A three light set-up – consisting of a main light fill light and a background light – is ideal. However if you are just beginning you can do great photography with a lot less. Experiment, and add as needed. If you are using a backdrop keep the child at least four feet from the backdrop (if possible). This eliminates shadows and prevents the backdrop from competing with your subject.
Take your act on the road – You can do child photography at the park – on the beach – in the backyard, just as easily as in a studio or home – maybe more so – and nature will take care of the lighting for you, as long as you select open shade.
Be creative when photographing children: go to the beach, the park, or the backyard. There is no rule that says you are required to stay in the studio. Taking photographs outside eliminates the need for lighting; as long as you choose open shade, nature will do the work for you. Finally, keep a variety of items on hand to further capture the interest of the child or children you are photographing. Depending on the age of the child, toys, stuffed animals, snacks, hats, mirrors and dolls are just a few of the items that can a go a very long way in keeping the child\’s interest. Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.
FREE Book: Uncovers Professional, \”Insider\” Tips And Tricks For Taking Amazing Digital Photos With Your Digital Camera… (Even If You\’re A Complete Newbie To Photography!) Click here to access \”How To Take Pics Like The Pros\” We coach digital photography and suggest you get started with the free report, and then Watch this Youtube video channel \”Free Digital Photo Tips\”