Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Photographing Kids: Tips for Working with Our Youngest Clients

Photographing Kids: Tips for Working with Our Youngest Clients

All photos taken by Mountain Pearl Photography unless otherwise noted

As a mom of four young kids, I understand that they can be difficult, moody, uncooperative, and just a downright pain true joy to work with. Unlike their adult counterparts, children typically cannot sit still for more than one second, and no matter how hard they try, looking at the camera is about as hard as eating a pile of Brussel sprouts. Over the course of that last few years I have photographed over fifty families, and while the sessions involving younger children can seem like a scene from Mission Impossible, I have figured out a few tips for getting it done, and getting it done great! 

Tip 1: Let the kids be kids

As photographers it is in our nature to pose people: turn your body to the left, tilt your chin down slightly, shoulders down, hands in pockets. We seriously cannot control ourselves. However, when it comes to working with kids, we need to let all control go out the window. When I photograph children, I am getting a work out. I run. I lay down. I even work my core trying to stay in crazy half-laying positions just to get the shot. 

It is easy to get caught up in taking that perfectly posed shot, but when we just photograph in the moment, that's when the real beauty shines through. 

Tip 2: Be silly

Kids love grown ups that are as crazy as themselves. I have shown up to countless sessions where kids were unsure of me, then as soon as I start talking about flying dogs, walking trees, and tooting penguins (yes, I talk about farts while working) we are best friends.

Acting silly right along with the kids is best way to ensure you're going to get those genuine smiles, and make a friend to last a lifetime. 

Tip 3: Encourage the presence of an old friend

Quite often kids have little lovies that help them feel safe and happy- I always encourage parents to bring these along to sessions. Just having this to hold onto during a session can make all the difference, and they'll also be able to remember that best friend they had when they hold their images twenty years from now.

Whether it is a stuffed animal or a blanket, that little extra piece of happiness can help immensely. 

Tip 4: Get down to their level (literally)

Kids can be very intimidated by people towering over them, so I spend much of my sessions with kids either crouched down, sitting, or on my knees. It makes it that much better when you are able to look them right in the eyes and smile with them, making them feel comfortable.

Being eye-to-eye with your littlest clients will help create a sense of security which will shine through in the images.

It is easy to forget that we all have our ways of doing things- that is what makes us all so uniquely awesome! With each kidlet session I have, I utilize the tips above and they've helped me to give so many families images to last a lifetime.


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