Children, with their captivating eyes and radiant smile, are little angels on earth. Everything about them exudes untainted love and happiness. So striking is their innocence that it can melt even the hardest of hearts. Each moment with a child is worth treasuring and what better way to do so than to capture these precious moments. But children photography is quite challenging. So, In this post, I shall give you some children photography tips.
15 Children Photography Tips
1. Point and shoot, DSLR, or mobile phone camera. Equipment doesn’t matter The usual question comes – Which camera I should choose for photographing children? Well, you can use any camera you have for photographing kids. There are advantages and disadvantages for each type of cameras. Let me point out some of them:
Point and shoot cameras: Point and shoot cameras are light weight and easy to carry. Since they are small, using them makes you unobtrusive. Point and shoot cameras have certain features like smile detection, blink detection which helps you to take some good shots.
DSLR cameras: If you want to shoot kids in action and get more creative, use a DSLR. DSLRs offer superior image quality and features most point and shoot cameras don’t have. DSLR camera, due to its large sensor, is great if you want to shoot in low light conditions.
Mobile phone cameras: They are simple and very easy to use. Nowadays, mobile phone cameras offer decent image quality and allows you to take some very good shots.
2. Use semi-automatic or automatic mode
One of the biggest mistakes I used to make when photographing kids is spending too much time adjusting the camera settings. You may miss some good moments in your kids’ life if you concentrate on camera settings. Instead, concentrate on framing and taking the picture. Don’t worry about exposure, or white balance or any other technical stuffs . Let the camera do the job for you. Use aperture priority mode if you want to control the depth of field, and shutter priority mode if you want to get creative with motion. An advantage of using semi automatic or automatic mode is that you can frame well, and you don’t miss any good moments. However, if you are a serious user, you can use the manual mode for more control on the output.
NOTE: If you choose semi automatic or automatic mode, the pictures may get blurry sometimes. Read my posts on how to prevent blurry photos.
3. Switch to autofocus to capture kids in action
Regarding focusing, autofocus is helpful if you want to photograph kids playing. Switch to continuous auto focussing mode to continuously lock the focus when the subject is in motion. If you are using a point and shoot camera which doesn’t offer semi-automatic or manual controls, using the sports mode would help to photograph children in action.
4. Use continuous shooting mode
Most cameras offer continuous or burst shooting mode. It takes several photos in quick succession. Shooting in this mode will help you to captures various emotions and expressions of the kids. Also, it is very much helpful if you are shooting kids playing. Later, you can stitch all those shots and make a very good photo montage.
5. Use Live view mode
Use live view mode or your camera’s LCD for taking photos. It not only helps you in framing, but also in maintaining an eye contact with the kids while taking the photograph. If your camera has a swivel screen you can use it to show them what you are doing and it will also help you to get down to their level for shooting.
6. Zoom in or use a Telephoto zoom lens
If you think that you are diverting the kids attention by approaching them and taking their photographs, use a zoom lens. If you have a point and shoot camera, zoom in for getting close up shots. They won’t know that you are taking their pictures.
7. Focus on the eyes
If you are wondering where you should focus while taking the picture, focus on the eyes. Focusing on eyes will bring life to the photograph, and it will draw the attention of the viewer,too. You can use single focus points in your camera to properly focus on the eyes. Try to get the catch light in the eyes. Keeping the kids against an open door, window or any other strong light source would help you to get a catch light in the eyes.
8. Shoot at eye level
The three usual points of views are shooting from the top, shooting at eye level, shooting from below. Each POVS has different meanings. If you are shooting from the top, that means you are dominating (the usual adult’s perspective). Shooting at eye level means you and the subject are equal. And shooting from below means the subject is dominating. So taking photos by getting down to their level helps you to make an intimate connection with the kids. Usually people shoot from the top, which, I find, is mediocre. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not choose other angles. Try different angles and composition, and you may get some awesome results.
9. Go candid
Taking candid pictures gives you some good moments. You can capture the excitement and fun in their lives by shooting candid.
10. Be their friend
I know photographing children is frustrating, sometimes. You might feel like asking them to stand still or smile for you. But, don’t force the kids. Let them do what they love to do. They might be running around, not posing for you. But forcing them will take out the fun in what they are doing. They might pose for you when you ask them, but the picture won’t look natural. So, be their friend, and be one among them. If you have patience, you will get some very good shots.
11. Make them comfortable
I think location doesn’t matter. What matters is that your child should be comfortable. You should not take your kid to a place or a room just because the light there is good. Instead, try to photograph them where they are.
12. Be patient and quick
One of the most important tips I can give you is that you should be patient and quick while photographing kids. Kids are unpredictable especially when they are playing. You can’t guess what they are going to do next. So, you should be ready and quick to capture the best moment.
13. Use props
Using props like toys, big sized glasses will help you to take some interesting shots. Props draw the attention of the kids and they will concentrate more on it than you.
14. Show them their photos
Whenever you take their photos, show them. They will love their photos and will be excited to pose for more pictures.
15. Forget the technicals and have fun
The most valuable tip I can give you is this one. Forget the technicals. It is okay if the photos are blurred or grainy or little out of focus. What is more important is capturing your kids’ best moments in their lives. You should have fun taking photographs of children. Be one of them, and have fun capturing some beautiful moments which you can show them in the future.
ShutterStoppers Recommends: If you want professional help in children photography, we recommend you to check out Kids Photo Shoot by Venture Photography
Do you have any tips to add? Please drop them as comments.