*This is a guest post
Taking pictures of our dearest and cutest little ones is very satisfying and quite complicated at the same time since they are very spontaneous and unpredictable subjects that can be charming and they refuse to collaborate for no apparent reason. Therefore, before launching ourselves to photograph children and/or babies, it is advisable to take into account a series of tricks and recommendations to be able to achieve good results.
Get their trust
The first thing to keep in mind is that a child can easily be intimidated by someone who comes close to him/her with a mysterious black box that is set directly to stare with great insistence. This is especially applicable if we talk about doing a professional photo shoot, but much less if it is about portraying our own children or those of friends and/or family members. So you have to be careful not to intimidate them, so it is the best to try to create a calm and pleasant environment and gain their trust by interacting with them, talking to them, telling them funny things and trying to make the photo shoot become a game where the child will feel calm and confident.
Think of it as a game
In addition to getting their confidence, making the photo shoot develop like a game is the best way to avoid another common problem of children: boredom. You already know that children are very variable and that if something does not interest them they change the story very quickly and they can go from collaborating with the photographer to avoiding him. Therefore, trying to make the photo session a game is a good thing that works with children of all ages. When it comes to children, we can rely on simple elements of their environment, including of course their favorite toys. Having a family item in your hand often makes babies calmer in front of the camera, so take advantage of it.
Plan the session
In the case that we are going to do a professional session, having a script planned on what we want to do is a good option, although we always have to take into account the unpredictability of these subjects that can make your plans go down the drain. However, precisely because of this it is interesting to plan alternatives on what to do to be able to adapt to the “mood” that the child has that day. In order to elaborate this planning, it is convenient to have information about the character of the subject in question, their tastes, their favourite games and toys, etc.
Stand up to it
To photograph the children, it is best to make things in accordance with them. That is to say, to bend down or to throw yourself to the ground if it is necessary, in order to be able to catch them from a suitable angle and that is not disadvantageous for them. In addition, through this “technique” you will make children feel less intimidated and they will consider you more as an equal.
In any case, the rule of not forcing a child to be photographed should always prevail. If our little one does not collaborate at all, it is better to leave him/her because if we try to force it, it will surely be worse. If we do it, we will probably only get upset or, eventually, we will achieve some false smiles that will not be worthwhile because we will have lost the spontaneity so characteristic for our children and/or babies. So, don’t push it but have your camera somewhere near, who knows when their adorable smile will come up.
Much patience required
They say that “patience is the mother of science” and it is best said in the case of photographing children and babies. Having patience is one of the keys to achieving good results with this type of subject when our kids simply won’t do what we ask them to do in any way. If you do not get that shot you wanted, try something else and try to try again later.
Stay tuned and try to be quick
Despite the above, timing is important along with the patience. That gesture you were looking for can come suddenly and if you are not prepared, you can lose it. If on the contrary the children are “collaborating”, do not waste the time because you never know when the collaborating moment can turn into avoiding.
As we said, the main characteristic of children and babies is their unpredictability so you must be prepared for anything. You know that children do not stop at all: they move, they touch everything (your camera as well), they laugh, they cry, they scream, they play. Keeping up with them can be exhausting but hilarious at the same time!
Do you find it challenging taking pictures of your children? Do share in a comment below and if you found this post useful why not check this one out about how to take better videos of your children.
Author bio: Alex is the founder of PhotographyTalk and has spent years in developing world’s photography and maintaining its standard worldwide. Featuring in Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, Forbes and many more can be considered as a proof of successful and hard work in this field of business. Photography Talk will continue with keep up the good work and contribute to perfection the photographic methods.