I find photographing kids very challenging and rewarding. It takes a lot of patience and time to get kids in the mood. The key to photographing kids is to get involved with them, which brings us to my first tip -

Get down to their level

Kids are short and it’s important to bend down and take photographs from their eye level. It may even involve lying down on the floor. Taking a photo from above will get you a shot of the head and hair and makes kids look short. A photograph taken at the kids eye level shows the view from the kids’ point of view and gives you a chance to catch the expression on their face. The best part of all is that children love this. In my experience, kids find it very amusing if you are lying on the floor trying to take a picture of them.

Get down to the kids eye level to engage them

Kids in all expressions

They don’t always have to be smiling. Babies look cute even when they are crying (especially in photographs since you can’t hear them). Kids go through a variety of expressions and it’s fun to capture them in different moods. Try to engage with kids as they play around instead of trying to force the “cheese” smile. None of the photos on this page were taken after asking a kid to say “cheese”. So click away – you don’t have to wait for them to smile.

This kid was asleep but he was obviously having some nice dreams

Make it a project

One of the greatest results of photographing kids is creating a memoir of them growing up. I encourage you to see some of the great projects that some photographers and parents have taken up. One of my favorite photographer, Jan Granger, photographed her grand daughter in a large fruit bowl the first time they brought her home. After that, for the next 5 years, on every birthday she’d photograph her in the same bowl till she finally couldn’t fit in it anymore. Another photographer, Jason Lee, started a photoblog to keep his kids’ grand mother updated. His photoblog is full of creative pictures of the kids as they ride flying bike and have other amazing adventures.

Getting kids to pose

Remember that most kids are going to be very impatient and don’t want to hold a pose while you find the right settings, so be prepared with the exposure and kind of shot you want. Kids are not too keen to follow instructions either. The best way to keep them involved is to keep talking to them. Show them the pictures you’re taking, tell them stories or make funny expressions. Get down to their eye level and don’t tower above them. It’s important to engage with them.

Keeping it Natural

It is going to be tough to get kids to pose. Put the camera in burst mode, so that you can capture the right expressions. Pick a good telephoto lens like a 300mm and shoot from a distance while they play with friends. This will keep them from getting self conscious and camera shy.

by Roy Yap


A few ideas to get you going -

by Rolands Lakis

Link to some great photographers - http://megansquiresblog.com/

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