What's the one subject that seems to be constantly moving, jumping, talking and playing? Children may be cute, full of smiles, and incredibly photogenic, but they are also a tricky subject to capture. Today we're offering a few tips for photographing kids!
Don't Tell Them!
While this point may seem a little odd to many of us, it's great advice to follow. The best way to shoot kids is to not letting them know that they are being photographed. Generally this evokes one of three emotions: fear, excitement, or fascination. Any of these will detract from a natural pose!
Always Focus In Advance
Shooting kids can be a nightmare if you don't take the time to focus your camera before pressing the shutter. Start looking through the viewfinder, and hold the shutter halfway down to focus on the little nipper in question.
Now, it's just a case of waiting for the perfect pose, glance, or giggle - when your kid pulls off a classic pose, press the shutter the rest of the way and you'll catch the action with no delay.
To Shoot Kids, Become a Kid!
To shoot kids, you need to get down on their level! Kneel down to their level, hold them, look at them, play with them and make them feel comfortable. Being a kid will always leave you with far better shots than acting like a rigid photographer. Plus, it's nice to be a kid again from time to time!
Have a Fast Shutter Speed
Children move fast! One second they're in front of your lens, and the next they're gone. There are various ways to combat this, but the most useful is to stick with a fast shutter speed. If your camera has a sports mode, try that.
If it's dark, you may need to increase your ISO in order to maintain a shutter speed that is fast enough to stop your kids in the middle of the action. For a full explanation of how these relate to one another, check out our Ultimate Beginner’s Introduction to Exposure.
Don't Expect Kids to Pose
Children are not models. Neither do they know what photography means, nor the importance of your camera gear. They are just kids, so don't expect them to leave their favourite toy for a perfect pose!
Kids never care about what is going out around them, because they are always lost in their own sweet world. Make the most of this, and try to capture their wonder and fascination with what we consider to be the incredibly mundane.
Take a Lot of Photographs!
Make it a habit. If you are photographing your child, make sure you take a lot more photographs than you would in any other photo shoot. From personal experience, you will find only a fraction of the shots you took are the really memorable ones. Play the game of odds to snap photos you'll really treasure.