Children are naturally photogenic. Ive worked in studios and children are so easy to photograph. What I hear from parents is that they dont think that their kids are that easy to photograph. Thats only because they dont know some basic tips.
1. Young children especially infants take beautiful photos while they are asleep. Keep the light natural avoid flash if at all possible. Keep the image tight on the child and crop out distractions. For infants when theyre awake youre better off having another person in image, it gives the child someone to interact with and you can crop the shot to keep the other person out of the image or you can keep the adult and child in the photo.
2. Toddlers look best when they dont know that youre taking their photo. Candid shots are the way to go for this age group. Keep your camera handy and when they start doing something cute snap the photo quick. Remember your child doesnt have to be looking directly into the camera to take a great photo. Dont ever say to the toddler, Oh how cute, now look here. It wont happen.
3. Children ages 4 plus are really good at sitting for photos. But if youre going to dress them up make sure that they are comfortable and dont put them in some outfit they hate, it will show in the image. Crop tight on your subject, keep the light natural, and if youre using a toy to get their attention make sure that it makes them laugh and doesnt scare them. (I learned that lesson the hard way.)
4. Older children are really good at dressing up for photos. The hardest thing will be getting a natural smile from them. Say, cheese is a sure fire way to get a fake smile. Most of us learned young to smile automatically at that cue. Here you have to get silly. One time I was working with a young boy and his older sister. She was a natural smiler and loved being dressed up. He was not happy and kept pulling at his tie. His mother straightened it for the tenth time. I posed them and addressed the young boy I said, Now on the count of three I want you to say, I hate this tie! His sister smiled surprised at what I said, and he grinned. I took the photo. He then screamed, I hate this tie! Again both smiled wide and I took a second photo. The images turned out beautiful.
I hope these tips help you to take better photos of your child. With a little practice and a few tips youll see better family photos immediately.
If you have some specific questions please visit my Photography Forum at: http://kellypaalphotography.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/index.php and post your question there.
About The Author
Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal
Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.