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.
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.