A beginner’s guide to photographing children.

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Photographing children is  a very fun and rewarding experience, however it can be a stressful and draining if not done right. It is true the type of experience and success you  gain by photographing children is on you. Here are a few tips that can help make photographing  children a little more rewarding.

Turn your child into a blogger.

Babies are cute and everyone loves them. Why not turn your child into a celebrity? You should make a  spectacular landing page on your child’s website with a really cute picture of them, or maybe better; go for a video. Who knows? You might turn your blog into a business. If you’re lucky and so is your child, your business can boom with your child as a baby influencer. You can also make videos of them and hope they go viral.  To blog or not to blog is the question in this age and time.

Kids need demonstration.

People all over the world communicate in different ways but one form of communication is very universal is of body language. If you need to direct a child to stand, sit or face a certain way, don’t just say it with verbal cues, instead show them using your gestures and body.  Humans have a tendency to mimic especially younger children mimic, so if you do a certain pose the child will unconsciously mimic you. If you demonstrate what you need, your message will go across effectively much faster than verbal cues.

Start from home.

Your home is always better than any professional studios, especially when it comes to children, as that is a place where they actually feel comfortable. So, how to make sure that your home is perfect to click a picture? First, try to free quite a large good space for the shoot, and then move for a more natural environment. So you see, to create a natural background, you can set a grey seamless paper roll that is in a stand, or simply be able to use an empty wall for background. As you know that light is a big fact for your shoot, so make use of the natural light that comes from your windows,   But remember that it’s important that too many changes will look odd, so try to keep the environment as natural as possible.

How to calm kids.

Make sure that you have created or chosen the perfect the setup first before bringing in the kids. Always know  that they need to be treated in a way that differs from older clients. Kids are impatient by nature so they’ll quickly lose all  their patience with you if you’re not ready and you make them wait. Keeping a toddler still while taking a picture is the hardest job a child photographer can do.
Use faster, longer lenses to make sure that they defocus the background – preferably a fast 85mm lens is great to be used for portraits, but the long end of the standard zoom that came along with your interchangeable lens camera is also good.
Make sure that  you position your subjects at least 6 feet in front of the background, to make sure that it is able to  defocus background and to drop shadows behind them.

Make use of flash.

As children fidget and move a lot. Use a flashgun to spot and capture their precious moments. Photographers all over the world recommend to use a flashgun to help freeze children’s movements forever!
The bounce the flash off the ceiling to increase the lighting  in the sweet spot – so setting the shutter speed to 1/25th sec and the aperture to f/4 is a good starting point.
While buying your flashgun, make sure you invest in one that can be tilted towards both walls and ceilings. However, to use a flashgun, you need to be a little careful as too much flash ruins the pictures

Continuous mode is your BFF.

If your camera has an option of  rapid fire (also known as ‘continuous’ mode) , make sure that you use that for all your children photography. With the kids running around, you will end up with way to many  bodged photos!
Instead of thinking of  ‘spray and pray’, focus on maximizing your chances of getting that one good shot! Even if it means losing 20 bad ones.
Unlike old times, the digital photos are essentially free, so don’t feel afraid to take loadsof them if you’re trying to get that one special moment; just the way you want. As kids are unpredictable and fast moving, making sure that you are shooting lots of photos at once can help increase  your odds of getting good shots.

Lights, Camera. Action!

This tip is quite broad and applies for all types of photographers for improving all facets of photography. However, with children photography we have a simple rule to use natural light as much as possible.
Getting the child near a window for taking pictures in natural light, and turning out all unnatural sources of light are both great ideas.
However, if you’re in an attempt to candidly shoot your children, then that won’t always be next to a window in perfect light. So, for those odd shots where you have some time on your hands, just ask the kid to to stand in the right place before  you click the shutter button that can create a much more pleasing image than one taken in bad light.
Stay vary of any harsh light, particularly of the midday sun as that is very strong and directly overhead. You should be able to  take the photos of the children  loitering in the sun if it’s happening. However, to get the best photos, instruct them to go and run around under a shady  tree. This way, the light on the children’s faces will be softer looking and will create great images.

Don’t ask kids to fake it .

Stop saying “Cheese” , it is quite so cheesy that it makes professional photographers cringe. Try to keep away from this obnoxious work but unless if you’ve got the biscuits  too!
Its alright if your child isn’t smiling when you come to take the photo do not stop and wait for them to smile;  snap the picture anyway. Show the children how sad they look normally, and then not how they look when they’re told to create a fake smile. Then show them their real smile and tell them it is so beautiful so they feel like smiling naturally.
Talk about their favourite colour, animal, food, movie, place… or just tell a joke, or smile at them so they smile back. Don’t let this go, iIf you really want the smiling shot. Make sure that the smile that you reap has come naturally.

Get kids be use to of the camera.

Even though we are all fully grown adults, having a camera point at us makes us act all fake and sophisticated; killing the essence of a  real us. Honestly,  it’s no wonder that the kids start acting unnatural and fake when you point a camera in their faces.
Remember, while photographing children, you need to be persistent and patient,  also lifting the camera often enough that the kids get used to it.
After some hours of following children around with a camera, you are bound to melt into the surroundings. When once they forget you’re there, you will be able to click those candid, natural shots that always look the best
  • To be able to always have your camera on you;
  • Be sure to keep your photography gear light and minimal
  • Put away your travel tripods and spare lenses.
  • Concentrate on using the bare minimum accessories.

Stoop low!

Remember, to understand kids, you need to be like them. Stoop down to their level and make them feel like you are one of them. If you’re taking a photo of another person’s child, make sure that you get mum or dad to stand or crouch behind you and have them call them by their name. If the parents are not available make sure that someone else from the family is saying something funny, making some noises – whatever it takes to get your desired reaction.
Photography is an art that involves not only the artist but also the subject. The perfect harmony of the artist (photographer)  and the subject is balanced meticulously and eh loss of one of these results in the loss of the picture;’s true essence. Calm, calm, calm, there are the three words that you should focus upon when you go off with a camera to get some very young peoples shot!