I have a passion for photographing kids. To be honest I think I’ll always be a kid at heart. I love watching Disney and super hero movies, I don’t eat veggies, I love all things sugar and deep fried… and I feel like I have come up with some techniques that really help to get those awesome, natural looking shots parents love. Here are 5!
1. GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL: Seriously, get your butt on the ground so that you become their height (if that makes sense). This will give you a totally different perspective for the angles of the pictures. I will often even lay down on the ground. I also like being lower because I can talk to them without them having to look up.
2. ASK QUESTIONS: I must be able to come up with at least 100 questions without even having to think! So, I’ll start asking them questions like: “Who’s your best friend? What’s your favorite color? Do you like ice cream? Do you have a puppy? What’s your favorite cartoon? What was your favorite birthday present? Do you like Christmas?”… By asking them questions, and keeping the camera ready to snap photos, you will truly capture many expressions you can’t just ask them to give you for no reason.
3. MAKE SOME NOISE! When the kids are younger, I will sing to them. I ask the parents what their favorite song is (if they can’t talk yet), and I’ll sing to them. If they are older than 1, barking at them like a dog works really well. It gets an awesome reaction face that looks like excitement! I have practiced my “bark” to get just the right look. (CAUTION: SOME KIDS MIGHT GET SCARED!) Other animal sounds work too, but nothing works as well as the dog bark.
4. PEEK-A-BOO (for little ones)! This technique is a little trickier to explain, but basically, I’ll start by hiding my face behind the camera, and slowly start playing peek-a-boo with the child. It is VERY important to maintain eye contact (when you’re not hiding your face), so if there are multiple children, choose one to focus on at a time (the other ones will probably ask you to repeat it with them!). Then, once they start laughing and getting excited, you start snapping the pictures. The cool part is that they forget you are using the camera as your “cover,” making the camera less intimidating.
And finally, I couldn’t not post this one…
5. IF YOU DON’T WANT A CHEESY SMILE, DON’T ASK FOR ONE (don’t ask them to say cheese!) – ‘Nuff said.