Photographing children

Written by  on January 23, 2012 

If you’re an amateur photographer and enjoy taking portrait shots, then here are some tips for photographing children.

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Photo: Bill Liao

Don’t take long!

Children get bored really easily, so it’s important to not take too long taking their photo. The longer they have to stand still, the more rigid their smiles become and the more fidgety they will be. If you want to create a special kind of scene around them – like a scene for a Christmas card shot – then do the preparation before you bring the kids in. Otherwise they will get bored while you arrange things and they might try to help, but end up complicating things.

Limit numbers

If you try to photograph more than three or four children at a time, you will have trouble getting them to all look at the camera, smile, keep their eyes open, etc at the same time. A smaller group is easier to work with, and there’s less chance of getting someone looking down at the floor while another one wanders out of the frame.

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Make-up

While you want children’s photos to look as natural as possible, you can improve the results with a few little beauty tips. This is really more about reducing shine on the forehead with some face powder, or giving their skin a bit of a glow by putting some Olay on the cheeks.

Take action shots

As mentioned above, many children don’t like to keep still for long. You can use this to develop your ability in taking action shots. Switch your shutter speed to its fastest setting and move with your camera as the children move. You’ll gradually get better at doing this, so that the end results have your subject in focus with a bit of a blur behind them. If you can’t adjust the shutter speed on your camera, switch to one of the auto settings like ‘sports mode’.

The most important thing when photographing children is to make it fun for everyone, otherwise your subjects will be less than willing the next time you get the camera out!

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