Children are among the top favourites list of every photographer, photographing them is rewarding as well as challenging. Anyone who has ever tried to photograph a child will definitely admit one thing. They are constantly in motion. Most of the shots taken by amateurs does not come out well, however a little understanding about the child psychology and a having a few techniques up your sleeve will help you get the desired shots and enjoy the photography session. Here in this article let us discuss a few tips to help you get started in Children Photography
1. Use Long Lens
When photographing children; use a long lens to get candid shots of children engaged in various activities in their own environment. They are in their elements when they are left alone, watch them play from a distance and take your shots without them being aware of it. Such shots do tend to have a natural feel to it and looks much better than their posed counterparts.
|Photo By Lutz R Frank|
2. Shoot from the Child's Eye Level
Shoot the children from their eye level; this gives you a vision of how the child sees the world around him/her. Shooing from their eye level changes the perspective of elements and thus showcases a refreshing new angle from the usual shots that you mostly see of children. Often times this means you will have to kneel, or sit or crouch or get into many odd positions.
|Photo By Bass Nroll|
3. Be patient – Socialize with Your Subject First
When approaching a child whom you intend to photograph, leave your camera in the bag, spend some time socializing, give the child a chance to get to know you, after a while the child will lose interest in you and will go about doing his own business. This is your clue to take out the camera. Also remember children are all very active and they never get tired or they never rest for more than a couple of minutes. They will keep moving; keep doing one thing after another etc. Understand it is their normal behaviour, be patient and be prepared to grab a moment when the opportunity presents itself.
|Photo By Martin Gommel|
4. Develop a Love for Kids
Good photographs take birth when the photographer absolutely loves the subject he/she is shooting. This is more so in case of children photography. Only if you love them wholeheartedly will you be able to know them deep, their emotions, feelings, things that make them happy, sad, excited, bored etc. And believe me kids could sense what is in your mind. They know if a person sincerely loves them or cares for them or is it just show off and they exactly reciprocate the feelings. So develop a love for kids and it will surely show in your shots.
|Photo By Collin Key|
5. Master your Gear
This is the most relevant tip when it comes to shooting moving subjects, especially the ones like children, when you have many things going together. Watching out for background and foreground elements, lighting, the child’s moods, expressions etc, composition and on top of it your exposure values. Familiarize yourselves with your gear thoroughly, and you could take most of the technical part out of the equation and really focus on your subject, there by vastly increasing your chances of getting good shots.
|Photo By SPingram|
6. Choose the Foreground and Background Carefully
When photographing children it is better to capture them in their natural environment, include props like their toys, furniture in the room etc, and when shooting outdoors include a bit of surroundings to make the shot feel real. But be careful of elements that constitute the foreground and background of your shots, if there are elements that compete for attention, or things that are a distraction, either remove it from your composition or blur it using a wider aperture.
|Photo By Raymond Larose|
7. Choose Clothes and Props Carefully
Colour is a very important element when photographing children. Study your scene where you will be shooting the kids and select clothes and props that match the scene. Choose colours that could go well with the ones that are already present on the scene. Some colours looks good on children and some don’t. Use your judgement when selecting them.
|Photo By Since 1968|
8. Look for Expressions, Emotions and Bonds
Try to tell a storey through your pictures, watch out for various expressions that come out naturally from children, there are so many, laughter, giggles, cries, funny faces etc. Shoot them interacting with their parents and relations and try to capture the emotions and feelings at play there.
|Photo By Bisbiglio|
9. Safety First
While photographing children you are bound to get absorbed in the technicalities of taking a picture. Children are never to be left without attention. A lot of things could go wrong; they have a special knack to create trouble. So have an assistant or a relative nearby to watch over the kids while you are engaged in photographing them.
|Photo By Shashchatter|
10. Have fun
This is a universally applicable tip for any kind of photography. You should be able to enjoy what you are doing and have fun doing it. If you enjoy what you are doing it will really show in your work. So keep your worries aside and have a good time with the kids, have a lot of fun and be rest assured that this way, you will have many more good shots at the end of the session.
|Photo By Fadzly|
In the next article we will discuss about Photography - Portrait Photography - How to Photograph Children