With the summer holidays coming up, a lot of you will be wondering how to take good children’s photos. You might have a new camera or phone, and want to use those long summer days to capture your children at their best – having fun! There is a lot of weight behind the old saying ‘never work with children or animals’ but I really enjoy working with children. I always look forward to children’s portrait sessions, whatever the time of year.

How to get the best photos of your children.

When was the last time you produced your camera or phone and said ‘smile for me’ to your children? Did they run away and pull faces, insist that you photograph Mr Bear instead, or just start crying?

If I’m really lucky I’ll get a natural born poser and the session will breeze by but some of the time a photoshoot can be a pretty daunting experience for them and a lot of patience is required. Here are some of my top tips!

How to take good children's photos
Hang back and watch if they get engrossed in an activity - photo of child blowing bubbles.
  • Plan with them.  In the studio I start by making a deal with them: nothing is off limits and we can have all the fun, but you have to sit down for at least one nice shot for Granny and Grandpa’s present. Making them feel involved in the process helps to get good results.
  • Get down low and try to see the world from their perspective. The best children’s portraits are done at their eye level.
  • Be stupid! If you’re enjoying yourself and having fun, the chances are they will too.
  • Bribery – never known to fail!
  • Show them your work. Let them see the pictures and ask them what they think. Saying things like ‘I really liked it when you smiled in this one, can we try it again?’ always works.
  • Take a step back. Something more natural might be the solution, so just hang back and watch if they get engrossed in an activity.
  • You’re not in control, they are! The photograph you want will happen, just not when you expect it to. You might just get some wonderful ones along the way.
  • When it’s over its over. Kids get to a point where they’ve had enough and it’s important to recognize this. Once they get bored or tired it’s time to put the camera away and do something else. Maybe it’s time to go get that ice-cream you mentioned earlier!
Dressing up makes for a fun photo!
Head outdoors for natural images.
Above all, have fun trying and of you don’t get the results you want, you can always book in for a photoshoot with me!

~Andrew.

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