6 Practical Tips for Photographing Your Kids
- Get way above him or down on his level. Find a chair to boost yourself, lay on your stomach, put him on a couch and kneel. Getting above him makes for bigger eyes, but in general, seeing eye to lens with your kid is a great angle.
- Lower your expectations. Don't expect a 2 year old to pose like a teenager. Go with the flow, and keep snapping. You never know what might look amazing once it's off the camera. That said...
- Have lots of ideas. Be prepared to present a high-energy, engaging experience, and your child is more likely to think of pictures as a game rather than an obligation. Just don't forget to let her be in charge so long as she's safe.
- Up the frequency, not the duration. Simply cutting time in front of your camera will do wonders for a munchkin. I find it very effective to shoot 15 minutes at a time or less, but I take portrait potential shots every couple weeks.
- Timing is Everything. Spontaneity is priceless. Notice she's in a particularly happy mood? Grab the opportunity. Love the outfit you put together, or is he having a good hair day for once? Maybe she's just miraculously stain free. Take advantage! Make sure that your child has napped and is fed if you do plan ahead.
- Appearance is (almost) everything. There is a big difference between a picture of him in jeans/solid shirt/styled hair and his underwear/favorite stained spongebob tee/bed head. Stick with simple, tastefully trendy, or bold and bright. Generally, avoid images, obvious logos, and words. Don't forget about shoes. None to match? Bare feet are better! Accessories can be a great plus too. Hats for boys or girls, belts for boys, bracelets, purses, hair bows, or rings. Just be careful not to overdo it-- unless you're going for the "found mommy's jewelry box" angle!
- Group shots-- It doesn't have to be a screaming match to get them all together. Make it a contest, game, or adventure- whatever gets them close and looking at you. Who cares if they think they're pirates? All the "Arrrg, Mateys!" are bound to make them crack a smile eventually.
- BE PATIENT. And not just for the duration of a "shoot." Getting a picture you want to hang in your house can take several tries. Just treat it like playing with your kid, and you'll end up capturing something priceless!