Written by: Keli Hoskins from Kidnapped by Suburbia
I don’t know how professional children photographers do it – they have a magic touch, for sure. My 2-year old is always on the move, and it’s a miracle if I can get her to sit still for just a second.
This is also the reason that you don’t see me entering a lot of the I Heart Faces contests, because I don’t have very many pictures of Emma’s face. She usually hides when the camera is around, and I have to sneak around and get pictures when she’s not paying attention.
So here are five tips for working with children … not against them.
1| Work on their schedule – don’t take pictures right before meal times or nap/bed times. If you do, don’t force them to sit and smile. For example, I love shooting in sunset light … it’s my most favorite time to shoot portraits. But she goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm, and it can get a little touch-and-go. So I just let her do what she wants and try to get some shots on my own.
2| Start shooting at a distance – if you start far away, it’ll give them time to be more comfortable before you stick your camera up their nose.
3| Props – give them something to play with or hold. It tends to loosen them up and also give them something else to focus on rather than you taking their picture.
4| Give them downtime – I took Emma to this beautiful field the other night to try to get some portraits of her, but she was having none of it.
So I let her run around for a while, and wouldn’t you know it, I got one of my favorite images from our little mini-photoshoot.
And then she was happy enough to come back and sit for me.
5| If they do not want to give you a good face, shoot something else! This is my absolute favorite image from the whole shoot, and she was singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and making weird faces while I was shooting her feet.
And most importantly – HAVE FUN!
Keli Hoskins is a wife, momma, pianist, photographer, web designer and chatterbox. I think I might be addicted to organizing and coffee, which, lucky for me, go hand-in-hand…and I blog at Kidnapped by Suburbia.