PHOTOGRAPHING children can be more difficult that you think. Ask them to pose and your photos will look contrived. Candid shots capture their personalities but if you hesitate even for an instant, the opportunity is gone. Getting you know your camera and brushing up on techniques will having you running on auto-pilot and capturing all those precious moments with ease.
1. Look for expressions: Capturing funny faces, giggles and even cries says a lot more about children’s personalities than staged poses. I’d much rather have photos of children with excited expressions than the fake smiles they do because someone said they had to smile for the camera. And while photos of sleeping babies are cute, I prefer to see they’re eyes.
2. Focus on the eyes: It’s often said that eyes are windows to a person’s soul. Children move quickly and are often difficult to capture but if their eyes are in focus, even when their limbs are blurred, you’ll still have good photo.
3. Shoot from eye level: Crouch down or lie on your tummy to be at similar eye level as the child/children. You’ll have a much better chance of capturing those gorgeous eye and facial expressions.
4. Colour: If you’re planning ahead, choose a good combination of colours between the clothes your child/chilren are wearing and the surroundings. Look at a colour wheel for contrasting or complimentary colour schemes. Wearing colours similar to the surroundings should be avoided as the child/children will tend to blend into the background rather than stand out.
5. Shoot in soft light: Shooting outdoors at midday will result in high contrast photos. It’s better to shoot early morning or late afternoon when the light is softer and shadows not so harsh. If noon is unavoidable look for areas of non-patchy shade under trees or shadows of tall buildings.