Sunday, October 15, 2006

Child Photography

Child photography is challenging. Children would never understand why taking pictures is important. In fact, everything is a game for them. As children are small and move quickly, the photographer would need to have stamina and quick reflexes to capture the right moment.

To children, taking pictures is a game

For a child, taking pictures is the last thing in the child's mind. They look for fun in everything you ask them to do, just like playing with toy or blowing bubbles. You would be surprise that nice spontaneous shots appear if you make your photograpy session a funny one.

Some tips from experienced child photographers:
  • When working with very young children, especially more than one, a fun way to get a nice shot of them laughing is to ask them to scream as loud as they can on the count of three. It may take a try or two, but when they're comfortable enough to scream really loud, they usually crack up right after. -- Courtney Bell, Courtney Bell Digital Photography

  • When photographing children I have found it helpful to let them choose some of their own poses–especially when they start getting restless. I have found this relaxes them and makes the session more fun and personal. Some of my best shots have been of poses that the child has chosen themself. The attached photo is an example of one. -- SuAnn Bird

  • When shooting portraits of small children, don't be hesitant to sit on the floor and talk with them. Roll a ball back and forth with them. Camera rooms can be intimidating and the more you can focus their attention on you instead of on the equipment, the better the connection between photographer and subject. It will show in the finished portraits. -- Angie Shaffer, Angie Shaffer Photography

  • During child photography sessions, I often tell them I can see them through the lens. I ask them if they can see my eye. Can they tell if I'm winking at them? It usually results in a solemn, searching look straight at the camera lens. Click! Then the children will giggle and smile a bright and beautiful smile . . . Click! Click! Click! -- Angie Shaffer, Angie Shaffer Photography

  • When photographing children, don't underestimate the power of surprise. As kids grow into toddlers, there is more magic in a squeaker that you can hide in your hand than there is in a rubber ducky that is obviously making the noise. When a child pauses to think for a moment, there is a liveliness in the eyes. Keep 'em guessing. It keeps their attention on you. Learn to throw a ball into the air and catch it with one hand without looking. -- Angie Shaffer, Angie Shaffer Photography

  • When children are determined to give you a silly look, go ahead and play the game. Ask them to make the silliest face they can imagine. Snap a picture of it! Usually they get so tickled by the game that they forget to be difficult. Anticipate their delight and you'll get great shots! -- Angie Shaffer, Angie Shaffer Photography

  • Use small stickers and place them wherever you want a child to look. Place it on the softbox, on their hand, or on your forehead! It works well even with 6-month-old babies. -- Angie Shaffer, Angie Shaffer Photography


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