How to capture amazing photographs of your children!
Reconnecting with your children? Here are a few top tips to capture this special time!
“Never work with animals or children”
I have lost count of the times a parent has said this to me during a shoot, It always makes me smile, as children are easily my favorite subject to image!
You will notice that NONE of these tips involves, kit requirements or technical settings! So weather you are a parent, grandparent, auntie or uncle here are a few tips for you to capture your loved ones during lockdown.
Tip 1. Location, Location, Location
As I shoot most of my lifestyle portraits are shot on location the choice of where is often left to my clients. I like to think that I would be able to make anywhere photogenic!
However I am lucky enough to have clients with imagination and they never fail to come up with some incredible and uniques locations for me to shoot in !
This particular shoot with Zoe was taken in Shorditch, London at her parents Butchers shop! A brilliantly unique and personal location for a shoot meaning so much to the family.
So really my point with this one is to chose somewhere personal and special to you and your family! It will make the images so much more unique!
Tip 2. Be Patient
When photographing children the key is really just to be patient, quite often if you leave them to their own devices they will do something that will just look lovely in an image, without too much interference from the photographer. I normally say guide your subject, never pose! With this approach you will more likely achieve natural and honest portraits capturing true personality and expression.
These two cheeky monkeys are Elliott and Sam who I have photographed since they were little (VERY little!) and watching them grow has been a real pleasure! Both very independent characters it took me a while to get them together. We found a lovely spot on some steps my the muddy estuary in Leigh On Sea we started playing games between us all and this is one of my favourite images from the session, always makes me smile!
Tip 3. Look for good light
Good light is key for beautiful portraits of your children, I tend to love natural light, as I feel it is lovely and soft on the complexions of little ones. In bright daylight I will look for areas of shade to soften shadows. I will also always try and pick a location that the child is familiar with; it will automatically put them at ease. When I am approaching a shoot I will always arrive at the location around 10 minutes before the shoot and will try and look for the locations with good light at that particular time of day.
I love this run of beautiful trees outside Kenwood House in North London however is often busy with dog walkers and joggers on sunny days! For this shot we arrived early in the morning and timed it between, the light was fantastic and frames the little one running into the distance.
These next two images are taken into the sun at The Confetti fields in Wyke, Pershore. It was a particularly hard day for shooting as there was no shade and bright sunshine! In this instance it would be best to use a reflector and shoot into the sun.
Tip 4. Engage and communicate
The best expressions and greatest connection will always come when the child is engaged with the photographer, talking, playing and having fun will produce relaxed and natural smiles with real expressions. When first approaching a shoot I will always chat with the children first, trying to put them at ease is my primary goal.
Children in general have a relatively short attention span so it is best to focus all of your attention here in the first instance, even though most of my shoots can last up to 2 hours it is better to try and capture the key shots at the beginning of the session as energy and enthusiasm for the shoot will be at its peak.
Tip 5. Think about subject placement
Not only how the subject is within the frame, but also you with your subject! I will always drop down to the level of the child, this will make for a more engaging and personal portrait.
Tip 6. Chose the right time for your portrait
Always think about when the child will be at his/her best for a portrait, more often than not I will aim to shoot all of my children’s portraits in the morning, it will give me the best chance for lively and energetic images.
The light at this time will also be softer and more flattering to your subject.
For more tips please subscribe and next week there will be more!
If you would like me to take a look at some of your images with a view to helping you make your portraits more successful maybe you might like a mini mentoring session with me!
They are informal online critiques to inspire and push your creativity!
Click here for more details of my online photography mentoring.