February is Children’s Month here at Creative Candy! I will be talking about photographing children over the next few weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter this week so you can get the free PDF 10 Secrets to Photographing Children.
I will be doing a photography segment every Tuesday so feel free to get your questions in throughout the week. The majority of work I do is with children so this month I will be focusing on children. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you can get the free PDF 10 Secrets to Photographing Children. I’m super excited about it because I love children! I have three boys of my own and I loved photographing them so much. My personal favorite is candid photographs. Us professionals now refer to this type of photography as “Lifestyle.” Capturing children in a real environment as they normally behave is so precious and can be so much more relaxing and fun for all involved. No pressure from the parents to bring these perfect little dressed up, smiling dolls to a photo session. Because lets face it, are our children really like that? Well NO! Their really living little people. They have feelings and cry and get angry and ten seconds later they are laughing and happy. I know that is how my children are. Heck I know that is how I am LOL. So why not capture the reality of childhood.
Now you can do this and have it look professional and fun and sometimes even staged with props. The truth is you should BE PREPARED to be unprepared. What does this mean? Well feel free to bring things for the child to do that will look good in your portraits. Feel free to color coordinate as well. Plan your session with the parents in advance. Ask them what theme their interested in? What colors they will be wearing. What toys does the child like to play with. I have some favorite photos I wish I could show you of a lifestyle session on the beach with a single mother and her adopted son. Unfortunately, for his privacy the mother did not wish to sign an advertisement release. As a side note make sure when posting any photos of your clients you have this release. It is a voluntary decision parents are free to make so never pressure a client into signing this. Anyway, at the park we were shooting at, on our way to the beach is a little barn with this unusual teal barn door and the rest of the building is brick. Planning in advance I knew I wanted to start our session there. So I brought a teal and yellow blanket and a teal and yellow toy airplane. That’s it. Two props, a toy and a blanket. I captured a series of 25 images for their gallery in front of that barn door alone. It was great. In addition to the two props I brought, Mom brought her son’s tricycle which made for some classic three year old photographs.
So Be Prepared. So keep it simple. Plan ahead with parents. Let children be themselves.
Children do great things unexpectedly. You will be amazed at the photos you can capture just following a child around with no coaxing at all. Be a child yourself during the shoot. Work from different angles. Children do not have to be looking at the camera for an amazing work of art to develop. However, when left alone to do what they want, you WILL end up capturing that perfect smile in that perfect moment.