By the time their own children come along and take up residence, at the latest, the topic of taking photos of babies and children becomes relevant for a lot of photographers. However, you don’t have to be a trained photographer to capture lovely memories in pictures. Using these simple tips, you will create beautiful shots of children. This is how you approach the topic.
Almost everything has a warm-up phase. Just as though you were participating in a sports competition, you should warm up when taking photos, in other words, test your camera settings and, in particular, get to know the child. Especially if they are not your own children, the initial shyness and timidity have to be overcome. Allocate a good extra half hour to do this. Make friends with the child, play together, and leave the camera to one side for now.
Children should be themselves – capturing emotions
Once you are on the same wave length as your mini model, you can add the camera into the mix. This should happen as inconspicuously as possible and as part of play, because all the attention in this shoot is on the child. The aim is to photograph the little ones in real situations. Telling them to “just smile” or “look over here” are quite distracting and interfere with real emotions.
The right perspective
The right perspective is of vital importance for the impact of the picture. If you photograph children from the top, they will seem small and helpless. The perspective will be a lot more exciting if you get on the child’s eye level. To be at the same height as the child, you might choose to kneel, crouch, or lie down. You will now have the whole face with all details and emotions in your picture, not just the hairline. And speaking of lying down – after all, it’s variety that makes photography so interesting. How about taking a few pictures from the bottom looking up? This will make the child seem brave and bigger.
The child doesn’t always have to be the main focus of the photo.
Sequential shots and constantly on the move
Children are fast as lightning. One minute you are looking to your left as see a delightful child’s laugh, the next minute they have raced to the right and are standing in front of the fence, marveling at the large excavators. In such cases it is helpful to increase the shutter frequency and take several pictures. It is definitely not a bad thing to switch the camera to sequential shots, because usually emotions are not predictable. So it is important to react quickly and take several photos. Especially as in these times of digital photography we have the option to take many pictures and delete unnecessary material. Nevertheless, take photos judiciously, because sorting and choosing also requires time.
I prefer natural light for my photos. I only use the flash to make things brighter if it is really necessary. And before I use the flash, I try increasing the ISO number. Therefore select a room for your photo session with large windows and a time of day with lots of light coming through the windows. Get close to the source of light; even better, head outside. If possible, the child’s body should face the light and you should have your back towards the light.
The background should not be too busy or bright, otherwise it would detract from the actual subject of the photo. Choose a neutral background if possible: a plain, light wall at home or a bright meadow or clearing outside.
The most important thing: Have fun together!
Christina has been blogging on ‘mrsberry’ about everything that makes her happy. And that’s quite a lot. Her colorful topics range from travel reports over everything about family, her love for digital photography and analog lomography to DIY tips and delicious recipes.