10 Tips for Photographing Kids Naturally

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10 Tips for Photographing Kids Naturally

July 3, 2012 By Lime Tree Kids Family comments

 We’re all guilty of it, lining our children up in front of the camera, getting them to look at us and then asking them to say ‘cheeeeeese’.  

More often than not, we end up photographing our children with their eyes almost closed as they force their most toothy exaggerated smile possible.  And, if you have a camera shy child – then taking their photograph can seem like an impossibility!

Photographing natural reactions and real moments are the shots that will mean so much more to you and will help create beautiful memories to hold onto for many years to come.

The following  10 tips can help you take better photographs of your own children, capturing their personalities and the special traits that make them who they are:

1. Let them have fun!  Take photographs of them while they are doing what they like to do best without calling their name and making them look or ‘pose’ for the camera.  When you have a series of shots that you like, let them keep doing what they are doing and then call their name – when they look towards the camera you might be able to capture that natural smile or expression that means so much to you. Keep in mind, they don’t always need to be smiling and they don’t always need to be looking at the camera… which leads me to my next point.

2. Keep them busy.  Once they are busily painting, playing with play doh, bouncing on the trampoline or playing dress ups and letting their imagination run wild - you’ll be able to capture some happy and fun moments that you have shared together.  

3. Another way to capture a natural smile or laugh is to become involved with them while taking their photograph.  Talk to them, sing songs with them, act a little crazy if you have to! If you are taking photographs of young children try changing the words in nursery rhymes or play ‘hide and seek’ – they’ll soon start giggling! 

 If they are babies, make funny sounds or play ‘peek a boo’ and if you’re photographing olderchildren talk to them about their interests, their favourite television show or a sport they play – get them talking and be ready to capture all those natural expressions, smiles and laughs!

4. Take a series of shots that help tell a story and capture special and important details.  For example, when photographing babies take photographs of their hands and feet, their lips, their ears, their eyelashes while they sleep and make sure you zoom right in for these shots.

  Babies grow quickly and it’s nice to have a series of shots that you can look back on and see those dimpled, chubby knuckles or their cute button nose.   For older children, try taking photographs of them playing with their special toy or reading their favourite book – standing back taking a photograph of the overall scene will help convey your story and remember to get some close up shots as well!

5. When photographing facial expressions and reactions – try taking close up photographs which will help you to interact with them too.  

6. Take photographs on their level - for example if you are photographing your baby, lie down on the floor with them.

7. Try taking photographs from different angles or viewpoints – for example, take photographs from above looking down at your subject or get down low and look up at your subject.

8. Look at where you ‘crop’ your photographs in your viewfinder - make sure you aren’t cutting off limbs at the joints or other important details.

9. Look at your location. Where are you taking photographs?  Make sure you look at what is in the background of your photographs – clear out the mess or any distractions before you take the photograph or ask your subject to move to a different location.  Parks, beaches and the zoo make great photograph locations and will give you some great natural reactions.

10. Most importantly, have loads of fun and remember to include yourself in the photographs with your children!

About the Author: 

Claire Rowe owner and photographer of Honey and Bea Photography, enjoys capturing real moments, true emotions and no cheesy fake smiles. Honey and Bea Photography is a boutique photography studio based in Perth, Western Australia specialising in photographing children, families, engagements and weddings. Connect with Claire  on Facebook or her blog.

Photo Credit: Claire Rowe