Many parents feel that studio shoots for a child portrait appear to be ‘too staged’ and many child photographers also feel this way. In formal studio photo shoots, some children feel restrained and they cease to be their natural selves. This is why many child photographers and parents alike opt for location shoots for their child photos.
There are a lot of locations that can be used for this kind of photo shoot. It could be in a house, the backyard, the outdoors, or virtually anywhere. The important thing is that the child is comfortable and can be themselves. It would be nice to shoot in a place that the child likes or the child is familiar with so that the child can be at ease and can express themselves freely.
Whether you are an experienced or a budding child photographer, there are certain considerations when doing location shoots for children photography:
Location. The parents, with the help of the child photographer, needs to decide on a location for the photo shoot. As the parents are the ones who know their child well, they are in the position to know the best location that would suit their child’s personality and in which they will be comfortable in. The photographer, on the other hand, who knows the technical aspects in child portrait photography needed in creating stunning child portraits, can make suggestions and can see whether the location the parents wants is suitable for a photo shoot.
After deciding on the location, it would be an advantage if the photographer visited the location at least once to ascertain that the required lighting for the photo shoot is available. In the event that natural light in the chosen location is not sufficient, the photographer could decide if there is a need to set up lighting equipment and prepare for it.
Having an inspection of the location beforehand can also enable a photographer to mentally picture the best background or backdrop for the photo shoot.
The Subject. Children have different personalities and this uniqueness in each of them must be reflected in a child portrait. So a child photographer, specializing in baby photography and/or kids’ photography, who is acquainted with the child beforehand, will have a better insight of the child portrait that would best display the child’s individuality.
Meeting the child to be photographed before the day of the actual photo shoot is therefore essential. This would also give the photographer an idea on how to handle or help the child along during the actual photo shoot. The sense of familiarity that could be established would help to avoid the awkwardness that most children feel when dealing with strangers and to make the photo shoot smooth sailing.
Aside from meeting the subject, it is also important to orient the parents on the days itinery for the photo shoot so they would know what to expect. This is necessary to make the overall atmosphere of the photo shoot relaxed. Parents often tend to be anxious and would flit around their children in an effort to direct them into poses. It would be wise to advise them to allow the child to feel free during the photo shoot in order to achieve the best shots possible.
Clothing. It is important to advise the parents of the kind of clothing that the child should wear during the photo shoot. For one, the child’s clothing should be relevant to the location and for the kind of child portrait that the parents want.
Aside from ensuring the child’s comfort during the photo session, the colour of clothing vis-à-vis the background is also important especially if the child portrait is to be in full colour. If the child portrait is to be in monotone or sepia, there are certain colours that should be worn by the child for that particular child portrait.
Equipment. There is photography equipment used by child photographers but there is specific equipment appropriate for certain kinds of shoots. With the location and the personality of the subject in mind, a photographer can ascertain the right equipment to use during the photo shoot. It wouldn’t hurt to bring any extra equipment you personally prefer that can be used if the need arises.