Photographing children is a difficult matter but if you can produce a good set of photographs you will have priceless, cute, heartmelting and striking moments.
1.The closer you can get, you will not regret.
2.Get down with your belly on the floor
3.Speed is what you need
4.Be patient but keep on shooting
6.Keep equipment simple and effective
7.Keep location simple and familiar
8.Good lighting always will do the job
The most important point is lighting. If your light is great you can make the most wonderful photographs. Maximise the natural light you have, draw back the curtains, pull up blinds and open doors if you’re indoors. Temper harsh light of the sun with muslin or put the child in the shadow part of the room with light.
The use of a flash light is not a good thing while photographing children. Flash light will distract them or will make them uncomfortable. Flash light, sometimes even with a fill in flash can be quite harsh on the skin tones of the little ones.
Diffused light is more natural and softer and much more flattering for a good baby portrait.
. Keep the surroundings simple and a child will respond the best in an envoirment that they know and where the play often. Too much background and or space in the composition will look very busy and the focus is no longer on the subject.
. Keep things simple, no tripod but a steady hand and make use of the floor. Put on your lenses, filters etc. before and do not change during the shoot. Children get bored very quick. Have everything ready before the shoot.
. Choose every for shot a different angle, change every time form portrait to landscape hold with your camera. Kids sometimes like the strange movements you will make with the camera. They not always have to look into the camera to make a good photograph. Try to be arty with close ups of feet, toys hands etc. Try to use the natural light all the time, this must be your main focus.
. The most hard part. Never tell a child what to do. Let there be a interaction with the parents or with making funny faces. It will help, if the kid is a bit older ,to start the shoot with to give the kid the camera in their hands, but be careful, while make some photographs. Most of the time they like this object and the sound it makes while photographing. Form this moment on you will have their attention when taking back the camera. Sometimes they start crying when taking the camera back, even this shots can be very nice.
. Children are very quick bored or distract. Keep up your tempo with photographing. Make short sessions, with breaks to sit and play with parents. Mostly while you can shoot some shots from a distant.
. Start a eye level of your model and go lower and lower. Photographs from above level will look strange and you will miss all the expression of the face. Try to make use of the floor level with DOF. Close to the floor will also give you a steady grip on the camera.
. The expression of children are the best to capture close. The closer you will get the best focus is on the child and not the background.
If this all will not work out for you I can tell you two secrets. There are two other moments to make a wonderful portrait of your child. When they are sleeping and, when they are a bit older, while watching TV. Make a setup with tips above and shoot.
The most favorite portraits I have made of sleeping children. While making this shots I tempered harsh light with muslin and put the iso on 200. This gives a soft and baby –like effect.
Have a lot fun doing this and keep it always nice for your models….If someone have more tips on this matter, please let us know.......