How to Photograph Children

Five Easy Tips You Can Apply Today

Have you ever wondered if there is a secret formula for how to photograph children?

Or spent a day at a special family event snapping picture after picture, until the camera is brimming with treasured images?

Then later, perhaps the next day, you take a peak expecting to see those happy, glowing faces …

instead you find a collection of blurred images, red eyes and smiles awash in a sickly pallor.

You Don't Need "Secret" Formulas
Just Some Simple Steps

There is no "secret" formula for how to photograph children. But there are some tips you can apply right away that can do away with blurs, red eyes and flu-like color schemes.

"Most smiles are started by another smile." - Author Unknown

  1. Watch the weather - … but not for the reason you think. The best light for taking pictures of people of all ages comes on overcast days. The light is softer and more flattering, and there are no shadows to spoil the image.

  2. Toy surprises - No, I'm not suggesting you bribe a child with the promise of a shiny new toy every time he smiles for the camera (that could get pretty pricey). Instead, keep a small toy in your pocket or close by. When you want to capture that perfect, wide-eyed smile of his, spring it on him.

  3. Up close and personal - When taking pictures of children, most people tend to take one picture the same as the next - straight on (no angle), and starting at the top of the head and ending to just above the belly button (perhaps going all the way to the toes, for special occasions). But if you want to capture that special something (that jena se qua, as the French say) about a child, get right up close. Fill your view-screen with that delightful, dimpled face!
  4. Don't Let Frustration Stand in the Way
    of Beautiful Photo Memories

  5. Plain and simple - Choose a simple, uncluttered background in a single, soft color (when possible). When you do this, it puts the focus of the picture on the child (literally!). Her eyes, her skin, the color of her hair and dress become the very heart of the picture.

    You can get this effect very simply, by draping a cream-colored (or any other soft neutral color) sheet over a chair. You can take it a step further by dressing the child in a shirt and pants (or dress) that closely matches the color of the sheet.

  6. Don't Miss the Perfect Picture

    photograph children with plain backgrounds

  7. The abundance method - When it comes to the question of how to photograph children, the best strategy is to take stacks and stacks of pictures.

    If you're a new parent, you may have already, happily resigned yourself to this philosophy because (frankly) everything your child does is worth capturing. But don't be tempted to spare the memory card as your little one gets older.

    The fact is that the best pictures often come unexpectedly or right in the middle of a string of not-so-great pictures. So snap a bunch in rapid succession. You can always delete the mis-queues and foibles later.

And to capture the child's attention and a glowing grin, try out the Smile for Me Toys birdie.

There you have it. Five simple photography tips you can start practicing today. They may just come to you as the neighborhood expert on "how to photograph children".

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