Photographing kids – An introduction

If you’re interested in photographing kids, be it your own or professionally for others, you would want to get some ideas on how to get started. Kid and pet photography are two of the most challenging genres. I will discuss pet photography some other time. In this discussion, I will introduce you to photographing kids.

Familiarity and bonding

Getting familiar with a child who may be just a few years old and have a completely different agenda from yours is the first step towards getting great photographs. They can get intimidated by someone pointing a large camera toward them, and you don’t want to be that person for your sake.

Let them be themselves

The last thing you would want to do is direct them and micromanage them. No, the sooner you start to do that, you’ll bore them and lose their interest. Far too many photographers are guilty of trying to micromanage kids and treat them as they would do an adult. Instead of taking this approach, you should let them be themselves. Let them play and be in their world, and then try to work around that rather than intruding into their space all the time.

Go with the flow

No matter the plans you’ve made and the careful arrangements you’ve designed for the shoot, they mean precious little to a toddler or an infant. Trust me when I say this you may have to ditch all your plans and think of something different when you begin shooting. So this pointer flows from the previous states that you should allow them to be themselves and work around them. Allow the child to play around and play with her and when she is immersed in her world, go and take those shots.

Get their attention

One thing that you could do is to get their attention. They may have never seen a big camera like that, or they may get naturally curious about the camera in your hand. Show them how it works and how the images have turned up. That will get their attention, and at the same time, you can get some co-operation from them. If you’re using things like a flash, show them how it works and how it magically fires every time you take a picture. Experiment with different things and ensure you seize the moments they present themselves because there may be very few moments when you can capture interesting images.