I had the immense pleasure of recently meeting up with a family that is very near and dear to my heart. Over the years I have photographed three siblings on each of their wedding days and now they all have beautiful, lively, fun, and wonderful children. I was able to see them all for an extended family shoot and meet their children and I had such a wonderful morning with them. This is just a small preview of three of the seven children with more images to come soon!
I also wanted to provide a couple of quick tips on how to photograph children naturally. These are just some of my tried and true, go-to methods.
- Make the photos their idea: If you can engage the children on their level, find out what interests them and work within those interests. For example, one boy really loved exploring and gathering sticks so I asked him if I could take a picture of his stick that he collected and showed genuine interest. He became a willing participant and it was a great way for me to meet him on his terms.
- Give them space: Sometimes children don’t enjoy having their photo taken and not for the same reason that some adults don’t. Adults or teens don’t enjoy photo sessions because they are concerned about what they look like. Children don’t like having their photo taken (mostly) because it involves them standing or sitting still and they just have so much energy. I have found that giving children the freedom to explore and run around for a bit helps them burn off some energy and excitement from being at a new place and also makes them more willing to sit down for one minute and smile. While the kids are exploring, I am busy getting everyone else in place.
- Be friendly and patient: I personally really enjoy spending time with children. I babysat for many years and still do for family. I also spent many summers working at summer camps interacting with kids on a daily basis. I find spending time with children to be very natural for me and I genuinely enjoy the way they see the world. Sometimes there are meltdowns, but that’s just part of being a kid right? Kids need breaks and snacks sometimes and I have no real set agenda when photographing children because every child is unique so I like to be patient and wake for them to open up and become relaxed and natural. I always tell the parents of the children I’m working with that I am patient and in no rush and it’s only in that relaxed environment that we can capture the best images.
These are just some of the techniques I’ve formed over the years and I’ll share more tips soon. Back to the preview images: aren’t these the most delightful children/cousins you’ve ever seen?