Top 5 tips for photographing your little ones outside this summer
We all take hundreds of photos of the little ones in our lives, but it can be difficult to get that perfect photo when the little darlings refuse to sit still, smile ‘nicely’, or will only smile like a cheesy television host! Just when you think you’ve got the first bit mastered, trying to direct them to pose, without them assuming bizarre, twisted positions or do things that they never normally would…
They say never work with children or animals, but from experience, I can assure you it’s all in the approach and method rather than trying to direct a little bundle of energy to do what you want: “Stand there!” “Don’t pull that face!” “Hug your brother!” If there’s one thing you can rely on, giving a small child a direct command is likely to result in the complete opposite!
There’s a technique to master when taking portraits of little ones, from precious newborns to boisterous toddlers and pre-schoolers to teenagers! No matter whether they’re feeling shy, nervous, defiant, or grumpy, you need to do your best to show their best side. Most importantly, they should feel comfortable, you wouldn’t want to cooperate if you didn’t feel comfortable either, would you?
After many years of photographing little ones, both in a studio setting and in my summer mini sessions, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 tips to help you out this summer!
Follow their lead. They will most likely be in new surroundings and they will want to explore! Let them! Natural smiles and expressions will be abundant if they are happy! Patients is key.
Get down to their level. A great big adult looming over them can be frightening and overwhelming. Explain your plan, let them ‘help’ and offer suggestions. If they know what to expect and think they are helping, they will want to get involved. Crouching down to their level will also improve your photos, because it’s all about the angles and perspective!
Don’t put the camera down! Every moment is a photo opportunity with children, and you will already know that they don’t stay in one place for very long! Even if they just want to pull funny faces, that’s fine – keep shooting and the novelty will wear off eventually!
Be sneaky. Don’t always let on that you’re taking photographs. If they think you’re not watching, or you’re keeping your distance, they will relax and stop ‘performing’. Sit back and observe and when they are completely engaged in something, start snapping!
Don’t force it, it’s not all about the smile. If they’re really not feeling it, give them a break for a few minutes and try again on the next visit to the park, or after some lunch if you’re on a day trip. Or try out number 4 and get some sneaky photos as memories.
Hopefully these will help you with your holiday snaps this summer. If it sounds like far more effort than you had anticipated, or you would like to be in those summer photographs too, get in touch to find out my summer mini sessions in the lavender and sunflower fields!
They are taking place on 13th July, 28th July and 3rd August in Hitchin and spaces are filling up quickly, so don’t delay in securing your next day of memory making with your family this summer!