Photographing your children
Media photographer and PhotoBox guest blogger Maria Slough is back this week with her top tips on photographing children, and how to capture all those wonderful moments you will witness whilst they grow up.
We have all heard the saying “never work with children or animals”. Having done both I think children are fun, unpredictable, innocent and at times full of mischief. As models they can be shy, but they are free from adult inhibition and offer the photographer in us all an endless supply of emotions to capture. Below are some of my top tips for photographing beautiful images of the children in your life, whatever the occasion may be.
Capturing The Innocence in Children
This means more simply what their young years have to offer up. It is about photographing moments in time when they are daydreaming or deep in thought.
A great time to capture a child in a ‘daydream’ mode is shortly after they wake up, while they cuddle with their favourite soft toy or watch Television – if you have a zoom lens, sit as far away as possible while you photograph them. For face on shots, as your child relaxes call their name and capture their reaction.
Capturing a child in these moments gives us the chance to photograph the world from a child’s perspective while they remain the main focus in the shot.
Baby and You
A top tip when photographing newborn and very young babies is to be prepared to wait. They are only just discovering themselves, so make sure that you and they are comfortable and wait for them to offer up the expressions. The wait will definitely be worth it as you capture some very special moments. Over sized props or toys also work well when photographing babies.
Use natural light as much as possible when photographing children. Their young years and flawless complexions look their best in this light and you will avoid any red eye or flash reflection problems. Use the light source from a nearby window or patio door as a side-on light to create some natural shadows and tones in the shot. If you are looking to capture a smiling photograph of a baby, ask the Mother to try tickling the baby’s feet.
Different Ways To Frame Your Shots
Dont be afraid to experiment with the framing of your shot. Try placing your subject to the the side and use the rule of thirds to help you compose the shot.
Take a photograph from a low angle pointing upwards to include a lot of sky. This will give your photograph a feeling of infinity.
As in the shot below try including only part of the adult in the photograph as another way to feature smaller children.
Photographing just hands and feet make a wonderful option for child photographs. Experiment with sepia and black and white filters on your smart phone or editing package.
Including Parents and Grandparents
Photographing the relationship that Parents and Grandparents have with children is one of the easiest ways to achieve great shots full of natural fun and laughter as they play together.
Alternatively encourage the child in the shot to look straight down the lens while the adult looks off camera to create a more poignant photograph.
Birthday Parties and Weddings are the perfect time to capture some natural shots of your children, as they will be unaware that they are being photographed. Look for new ways to record your child’s involvement and capture them watching the scenes around them. Don’t be afraid to include some reverse shots as well.
Why not take inspiration from classic shots that include children?
If your child is reluctant to be photographed let them choose a prop or an item of clothing and work that into your shot. Be prepared to make yourself look stupid to make them laugh or ask them to tell you a story while you photograph them.
All images by: Maria Slough, all rights reserved © Maria Slough Photography