7 Photography Tips on Better Children Portraits
Kids hold the virtue of pureness. This is the primary attribute that makes them immune to the woes and worries of our society. Unfortunately however, this is also the exact same attribute that makes them partly unaware of the importance of cooperation whenever they are in a photoshoot.
Despite that, we all still want to capture the essence of our children in memorable photos, so the photographer must at least keep in mind these fundamental photography tips for better children portraits.
Shoot at an earlier time of the day. Doing the photo shoot session in the morning, or at least a few hours before lunch is better because the child’s vigor is still fresh during this time. Also, shooting early during the day can also be good if you plan to use natural lighting, as morning sunlight can be a strong source of “comfortable” light (as opposed to artificial lighting that may not be comfortable for children).
Use natural lighting as much as possible. This slightly supports our first tip about shooting early. Artificial lighting, even for some adults, can be quite uncomfortable to look at (with those big stands, wires and lights that are focused on us). Imagine those children having to focus their attention on those big, boring (and scary) lights. With the use of natural lighting, you can avoid this comfort problem, and probably even have the opportunity to shoot better pictures by just using sunlight and the surrounding area that reflects it.
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Shoot quickly, don’t take too long when taking shoots. Children love to play and move about, and they have a notoriously short attention span. The maximum time frame that you can have when taking pictures is probably around 45 minutes 1 hour before they tire out. Try getting your shots done by that time (take a break if it would take longer), or you might find them no longer interested in the photo shoot, (and maybe even too sleepy to do one).
Remember that play is the most natural action that a child can do. If you are looking for some of the best shots that you can take for child portraits, you need to learn that play is one of the simplest things that can make them smile naturally. Give them a nice toy that they would want for example, or let them play around first, and then capture the moment of their pure joy.
Capture their natural expressions, and no forced smiles. Although it is important for you to convey the importance of the photoshoot to the child, you must never force them into a specified action that they would most likely NOT want to do. Forcing a smile on the child would not only make the captured photo bad, but it would most likely also ruin the mood for the rest of the other photos that would follow.
Remove objects and people that would put natural pressure on them. They may not be able to express it properly, but even kids suffer from social pressures as much as we do. Try removing objects and people that would put pressure to them to not act naturally. Parents for example, can be an object of pressure to them, since they would think that they need to act in a way that their parents would want them to.
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Naturally, patience is always a virtue when dealing with kids. Of course, there is nothing as mundane or as basic and fundamental as the virtue of patience. Remember that they are kids, with an intellectual capacity that is still yet to grow and develop. If it is taking time before you are able to get those shots, that’s alright. Waiting diligently for the right moment to shoot can be one of the best things that you can exercise when shooting child portraits.