Category Archives: Photographing Children

Childrens Portrait Shoot

I had the pleasure of doing some Kids Portraits with Lucy and Emma recently, and while photographing children can be challenging there are some simple things you can do to make things run smoothly.

Emma, Childrens Portrait
Emma, Childrens Portrait

Firstly be realistic. Kids have a relatively short attention span, so don’t expect to get more than twenty mins with them before the Natives start to get Restless. Try to keep your setup as simple as possible. In this case I pulled a few curtains and used window light and a white reflector. This means that there are less things for you to worry about and also less things to distract the kids.

Secondly, you absolutely need to know your camera settings inside out. While adults will be patient while you work out some technical difficulties, kids won’t. If it tales you ten minutes to work out your camera settings, then you have just lost half your shooting time.

One of the things I always do when I first talk to them, is advise the parents to dress the kids in relatively plain and simple outfits. While kids love strong colours/patterns/text, it can date very quickly and be very distracting. I also warn them that there is a €5 fine for using the S Word (SMILE).

After that it’s just a question of engaging with the children and working with the parents, and hopefully they will sit/stand still long enough for you to get the shots.

Finally, as they say in the Boy Scouts, Be Prepared. Often the best images are the ones you get in between the posed shots. In the first image Emma was starting to get tired and her Mum was helping to calm her and comfort her. I really like this image, as you can feel the bond between a mother and her child.

In the second image, just as we were finishing up, Lucy started messing and pretending she was a model without being prompted. So I picked my camera back up and got this shot.

Lucy, Childrens Portrait
Lucy, Childrens Portrait

Tips on getting great photos of your kids.

Childrens Photography
Childrens Photography

1. Zoom in tight on your subject. This will help eliminate distracting things in the background.

2. Check your background before you take the shot to make sure you don’t have a lamppost growing out of the top of their head.

3. Turn off your flash. Unless you cannot get a shot without flash, it’s always better to turn it off. The flash on most Point and Shoot / Phone Cameras is very small and creates a very harsh look and the dredded Redeye. Put your camera into Portrait or Night portrait mode.

4. Take several shots. This is probably the biggest difference a professional photographer makes. It’s almost impossible to capture the right expression in one photo. Be patient and wait for the right moment and then take several shots.

5. Get down to their level and focus on the eyes.

And finally a bad photo with a great expression beats a perfectly exposed photo with a terrible expression every time. Avoid posed shots, have your camera ready, interact with the children and wait till the right moment presents itself.