I do not often shoot portraits, but the hilarious personalities of my young niece and nephew inspire me to photograph their every waking moments. It can be very difficult to have a successful photo shoot when dealing with children – especially if you are impatient like I am. But I have learned a few techniques along the way that might make it easier for you.
The term “photo shoot” does not necessarily have to mean staged photos. Although sometimes it ends up being a mix of staged and candids, the best photos are usually the ones that are candid. Sometimes it is best to set the stage for a great candid be making sure all of the necessary details are in place, and then let the kids do what they do best. Here is my guide to capturing adorable children’s photos.
1. Make them think it is their idea.
This tip can be easier said than done, but if you can suggest doing a photo shoot in such a way that they think it is their idea, they will be far more cooperative. I will often give a camera to my niece or nephew and ask them if they want to take photos. After they have played with the camera for a bit, I will ask them if they would like me to take photos of them. The answer is almost always yes.
2. Let them pick out their outfits.
Once they have agreed to participate in a photo shoot, ask them if they want to get dressed up? I often let the kids pick their outfits, and they are actually very good at this. They know what they like and what they are comfortable in, so being in that mind frame will help the resultant photos. If I don’t totally agree with what they have picked out, I will often bring along another outfit for a wardrobe change.
3. Pick a locations and activities that are fun for them.
The outdoors usually provides the best backdrop. Parks are often the best locations to capture both candids and staged photos. Parks often contain built-in props, such as slides, swing, etc. Parks also usually have areas containing trees and green space. It’s best to try to pick a park and/or time that you know will not be busy. It can be very frustrating to try to ensure you don’t have random strangers in the background.
4. Let them express themselves through their personalities.
Some other tips include:
• Schedule the shoot for after a meal. Also, bring along snacks.
• Ensure the kids are well rested prior to the photo shoot.
• If the kids start to become uncooperative, let them take a break.
• Be prepared for some outtakes.
I hope this tipster has helped you!