Tips from Professional Photographers for Capturing Children

Why, when we show chubby photo albums with the image of our child to friends or relatives, their interest is lost already on the third page? Is there something wrong with the baby? Why don’t they like your child? But for you, your baby is the best, beautiful, talented… In general, the very best! Or maybe something is wrong with the pictures? Let’s figure out how to photograph children correctly.


Shoot While Playing

What could be more beautiful than a child who is keen on playing? But, in the pictures, you get the back, then the top of the head, or even the back of the fidget’s head, and you cannot even figure out what he/she is doing there. Common situation? Let’s fix it. 

Consider that you are not only a photographer but also a director. Therefore, offer your kid your own rules of the game. Not all games are created equally well. If only because it is very hard to focus on a running and jumping child, and calm drawing threatens that in the photo, in addition to pencils and paper, there will be only the hair of a young creator. What to do?

  • First, take a dad, grandmother, or someone else as your assistant, who will not only play with the child but also make sure that he/she is well-positioned to the camera, and also is not dirty, sweaty, disheveled… the baby will definitely not be up to his/her appearance.
  • Second, choose a game. A ball game is fine. The kid stands still and catches a ball thrown by an adult. The option looks funny when the kid hides from the adult behind a tree (wall, wardrobe), periodically peeking out lively.

Quiet games are suitable for shooting, but to take a picture, you will have to constantly tear your baby away from an exciting activity. He/she should look at you! And drawing or constructors require care. If you just want to be a paparazzi and take pictures of the baby during his/her everyday games, try to capture from the level of his/her eyes and not distract the child too much.


Taking Pictures at Home

Most often, we took pictures at home. Did you know that this is one of the most difficult conditions for photographing children? It does not matter if you own an expensive DSLR or a simple compact, you will still face the same problems, which, by the way, can be solved. 

Typically, home photos are taken with a flash. And in vain since the light from the built-in flash completely kills the volume, texture of the skin, overexposes the forehead or nose, is the cause of red eyes, and just makes the picture everyday and boring. Try to abandon this “useful” feature in the camera, and you will see how much more interesting portraits of your baby will look. Even in cloudy weather, there is a delightful light near the window. Just invite your child to play by the windowsill.


In the Bright Sun

Sometimes it is worth turning your usual walk into an exciting photo session, taking your camera with you. A sunny day (and preferably evening or morning — at this time is the best light) is perfect for shooting. The only thing that should not be forgotten is black shadows from the side opposite to the sun. We were taught from childhood that you cannot shoot against the sun. In 9 cases out of 10, people shot against the sun turned into black silhouettes. However, there is one more case when a surprisingly unusual photo comes out. You might, for example, remember that your camera has a “harmful” flash. It will illuminate the face, and the delicate curls on your baby’s head will glow in the sun. By the way, a rare case when it is needed!

You can think of something more complicated. For example, take a piece of foil with you and, reflecting the sun’s rays, highlight the shadows on the child’s face. There is no need to shoot exclusively against the sun, let the baby spin as he/she wants and play for their pleasure: your task is not to lose their face from the frame and remember that details in the shadows should be highlighted.


Portrait with Parents

If you are thinking of a self-portrait, a mirror is your best assistant. Position yourself opposite it so that you can see how you are capturing the child at play. The more natural the situation looks, the better. You can do without it by setting the camera to a 10-second timer and jumping to the baby in time, but here you run the risk of not only getting an unnatural plot but also losing one of the models altogether. During this time, the child will have time to run to the kitchen.

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