Tips on How to Photograph Children
I want to share some tips for photographing children that may make your photographs better. You may be attending your child’s sports events, observing playful moments with the siblings or capturing a candid moment of introspection. The opportunities to capture children are endless!
1. Know your camera so you can pick it up at any moment and be ready when photographing children.
2. Types of cameras (not professional)there are many cameras to select from and the technology changes rapidly. Own a camera that is practical in terms of cost and one that suits your style of activity.
A cell phone camera isn’t the only answer to having something on hand. What if you are at a sports event? You will need a longer lens and a faster shutter so be prepared, know the settings you have to chose from and learn how to prepare for the moment.
3. Point of view- Photograph from the perspective of your child. Get lower to the floor or on the ground outside. Try something completely different by elevating yourself so that they don’t see you and catch the moment from an overhead angle. This can make photographing children different because you added a different perspective.
4. Use of focus or low focus is important too. Selective focus or low depth of field is how your subject stands out from the background.
All things are NOT equal in the picture frame. Learn how to follow the focus on the subject only and let the foreground and background fall out of focus intentionally.
5. Flash vs. no flash. The time of day is important. Be observant of light and when it is best at the location you chose.
Candid moments when photographing children
These are the irreplaceable moments! When no one is expecting a photograph to be taken and you capture a moment that you cannot re-create! This is the definition of a candid photograph. You see something and you photograph it. You don’t plan or correct the imperfections- go for the moment!
1. Learn how to use your camera- the fast shutter in low light, the proper lens choice with the goal in mind of being ready.
2. Try not to rely on the flash from the camera. the flash often interrupts a candid moment and alerts your subject to stop what they are doing. The light is now changed with a flash and in a way is interrupting the action. Let the shoot be natural; if something is slightly out of focus, embrace it, if hair is flying because of movement, capture it. Do not perfect it!
3. Be observant- watch the children – give them perimeters in space but let them be involved in an activity or with each other. Perhaps this is gardening, playing on the beach, sharing a toy, playing dress up, choices are endless!
4. No posing- No perfection – just natural!
1. Decide what is under your control or what you want to control. By this I mean before you start the photographing session with your own children make a few decisions.
2. Clothes- if you want the session to NOT be about clothes( like alot of posed and planned studio sessions are) then choose plain clothes so the clothes do not distract from the children. Keep clothes simple and if you have several children in the photograph try color coordinating their clothes so they are wearing simple similar colors. You are creating a palette so your children are the focus.
No shoes if the weather and location allows this- Nothing is more beautiful than seeing as much of the children as possible – so don’t confine their beautiful feet in shoes unless that is what they want or the location requires shoes.
3. Location may be important . if you decide it is, pick the place you want the photograph to take place like a park, your yard, your playroom a playground ? Anyplace is good, there are no rules, you just need to like the location and your children need to feel relaxed and happy wherever you decide to photograph them.
pick the time of day they are most rested and playful.
Professional photographer vs. you the parent
While you may never think in advance about any of the suggestions above , I guarantee I do. As a professional photographer and one that photographs children, there is much that goes into the planning of a successful photo session. In order to be successful at my profession, I have had to be observant, prepared, planned and spontaneous in all sessions I photograph. This is just part of the life of a professional photographer and I love what I do every day!
Please CALL if you want to hire a professional that loves to photograph children! 941-301-8926
Sally Ullman is a professional photographer located in the Sarasota, Manatee counties of Florida. She is available for hire as a portrait or business photographer.
Sally speaks to groups about the importance of using excellent photography through topics such as, “Visual Branding, Reinventing Your Career, and Following your Passion.” She recently added the the “Impact of Vision” to her speaking menu!
BOOK your portrait session today!