September 24, 2020
“How do you get such genuine smiles from the kids you photograph?”. I get asked this so often! So I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks you can use at your child’s next recital, party, play date, or right in your own home.
(Psst: The best camera is the one you have with you! These tips will work regardless of whether you’re using a DSLR or your iPhone.)
KEEP IT MOVING!
Run, spin around in circles, have your child play Simon say, jump – keep it fun! Nothing makes a photography session turn sour quicker than keeping your kiddo (and family!) still in one place. For younger kids, make jokes about their favorite TV characters and ask them silly questions like “Which parent has the stinkier feet? Dad does? How silly!”. For older kids, get them involved! Ask them what their favorite idea for a photography is, or what their funniest idea it.
GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL!
Getting down low gets your some beautiful angles, and gets you in the action with the kids! Crouch down and show them you’re ready to play. It’s also a great way to see what the world looks like from their height.
DON’T SAY CHEESE!
Most kids don’t have a filter, and it’s honestly one of my favorite things about working with them! If they aren’t happy, it shows. So while “Say Cheese!” may work for adults, it definitely won’t often for kids. They make you WORK for those smiles. Tickles, snuggles, peekaboo and silly faces usually do the job. Also, I’m not above making a good fake fart to get the kids giggling.
DON’T HIDE BEHIND THE CAMERA.
A part of getting genuine emotions showing is interaction! Get your camera set up where you need it, and then pop out from behind it & click away!
FURTHERMORE, HAVE YOU SEEN THE FAIRY IN MY CAMERA?
Sometimes I’ll pretend there’s a fairy living in my camera. A monkey, lion, Disney Princess or favorite character of the kid works perfectly, too. This gets the most adorable faces from the kids, keeps their attention and gets them looking at the camera.
Take way more photographs than you need! Kids move fast and have the cutest moments – you don’t want to miss them! You want to make sure you catch them, and have everything in focus and lookin’ good. For every 5 images I take consecutively, 1-2 usually take the cut.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: BE FLEXIBLE AND HAVE A SESNSE OF HUMOR!
When I take pictures of my own kids I’ll admit, sometimes I get so frustrated about getting the kids sitting in just the right spot or looking perfect. And I can promise you when I go into taking pictures with them that way, it’s never a good time for anyone. Kids do things on their own terms and it’s better to follow along with them. Embrace the chaos, and quirks and silliness that make your child incredible.
I hope some of these tips help you! And happy snapping 🙂 Wilmington, NC Photography Bits O’ Bacon Photography