February 2013
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How to take great photos of children – Part 3 – 5 Tips

Taking photos of children can be a delight. These photos look great, and can provoke a great deal of emotion, for many years afterwards. However, taking such photos can sometimes be a challenge and tips on how to take better photos can be very valuable. If you feel that something is not covered in this series, then please do mention these in the comments.

Photos from the previous post in this series (Taking great shots of children – Part 2)

Tip 1121 (Get kids to go to a playing area): Now, the exact location can depend on the age of these children. If these are very young children, then they should be taken to a playing arena (you know those places where the kids can enjoy small slides, some kind of buggies, some bouncing around, and a number of small balls), and if these children are slightly older, then to a playground. When children are playing, there is a certain quality of happiness that can be seen, and capturing those through photographs can provide some great photos.

Tip 1122 (Do framing properly, and if required, crop): When you are taking photos of children, then it is essential that you keep the photo focused with the composition on children. Unless you are intending to use some prop in the photo, keep such props out of the photo and keep it focused on the children. If you have already shot the photo and there are some extraneous objects in the photo, then crop those out of the photo.

Tip 1123 (Keep a minimum amount of equipment): When you are dealing with children, then you need to be quick and agile, and that means that you really cannot afford to have a lot of equipment that needs to be moved around. Consider that you have set up some great lighting with some other props, and the young children just refuse to go there. You need to take a photo where the children are rather than trying to get them where the setting is. This also means that unless you have children who are willing to pose, you need a lens that can cover a number of situations, so choose wisely. I use a 18-135 lens that works well.

Tip 1124 (You may need to stoop to conquer): In most cases, you will be much taller than the kids whose photos you are taking. If you take photos from your height, then the photos will seem to come from an overhead angle. However, if you stoop or bend such that you are the same height level as the children, you get their attention and your photos also seem to get better.

Tip 1125 (For infants, catch their attention): Babies come out best in photos when they are looking at the camera. Since their eyes are proportionally bigger than adults, having them look at the camera with eyes fully open gives a great look. But this is easier said than done. What you could do to catch their attention (although getting their attention does not last too long, so you need to take photos quickly) is to clap or snap your fingers, some sudden sound that catches their attention. Of course, this only works as long as it seems novel, so change the attention grabbing event if you need to do it multiple times.

Some books on how to improve your photos (from Amazon):

Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto” Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parents’ Guide 500 Poses for Photographing Children

Videos of how to take photos of children from Youtube:

Baby Photography Tutorial & Tips – Ideas for Photographing Children

How to photograph energetic children outdoors

Taking Better Photos of Kids – Delly Carr

Photographing Kids: Working with Light

Read more in the next post (Taking photos of children – Part 4)

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