Horror of horrors? How are you supposed to take great pictures of squirmy, distracted little people who don’t like to have their picture taken? You need to shift your perspective a little. Treat it like a game and not as a job and you’re on your way to great looking photos that will have parents coming back to you for more.
You will need to practice with your trigger finger. You need to be quick if you’re going to capture toddlers who are always running around or playing. By using their highly distractive nature to your benefit, you can crank out some amazing photographs. Get them distracted in something so that you can capture their expressions and not have to run around behind them.
Here are 8 tips that will help you in this type of challenging photography
Get them distracted – By involving them in something, you’re distracting them enough to make them sit still for a while. Rather than commanding them to do what you want, try the positive reinforcement technique of promising them a reward. Pick something you can consider a reward, keep it in plain view and remind them throughout the session that they can get the reward if they follow through.
Location, location, location – Pick areas that the kids are familiar with. Its even better if you pick locations where they know they can have some fun in. Parks or beaches not only provide you with great backdrops, but are also places kids will enjoy. There are many things to keep them occupied while you sneak away and start photographing them.
Fastest shutter in the West? – We all know that its a monumental task to get a toddler to sit still for even a few minutes. The golden rule is to keep your finger on the ‘trigger’ and keep shooting. Here is where you can really benefit from digital photography. No matter what the kids are doing, keep clicking away. With digital, you can take a lot of pictures and delete the ones you don’t like. You’re bound to have some great photos among the ones for the recycle bin.
Bring lots of patience – You will probably never get a good photo right off the bat. You will need to spend some time in trying to elicit a pose or expression that you want. Keep at it by using different techniques to engage them into doing what you want.
Bring the right stuff – Bring only the essentials in terms of equipment. You’ll be running around mostly – tripods are useless. Also, bring your digital camera with your biggest memory card. You’ll be taking a lot of photos, most of which will be discarded anyway. Don’t waste time in making adjustments as your subjects will be bored quickly. Be prepared to shoot as soon as you enter the room.
Are you looking at me? – If you want engaging shots, make sure you get down to the correct level; eye level that is. Take your pictures from down low where you get the perfect angle. Avoid standing up and photographing kids from up looking down. There’s nothing interesting in that.
Get closer – Getting in close will most likely get you some curious expressions which is great. You will also get fully filled frames and eye catching photos.
End positive – At the end of the session, take some time to build up a rapport with the kids. You never know when they will be photographed again and familiarity is always a good thing. Spend some time with them, let them take a picture of you, share some small gifts to say thank you.
If that’s enough for you to get started, great! However, if you want to do well in this area, you should consider this – photographing children made easier than you think.