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Portrait Photography: Guide on Children Photography

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Children are one of the most innocent and beautiful beings, and their photographs can be magical. The picture of a smiling child has the ability to make anyone’s day brighter. However, if you are a parent, or have friends who are parents, you would know that clicking a child is not easy. Children photography is part of portrait photography, and it requires certain skills to capture magical moments of childhood. We will help you come up with the perfect shots for different child photography ideas.

Children Photography: Composition Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

The way these little bundles of energy runabout, it is difficult to imagine them sitting and posing for the camera. Many times, the essence of children photography is to find a moment in between their activities. This trick is not as easy as it seems. You have to find the right settings, make sure that the kid does not get bored during the shoot and include other props or people in the photograph. All these will bring out the best in your photograph. Let us find out how to do kid and baby photography like a boss. These simple composition tips and tricks will make children photography more pleasant and fruitful for you.

1. Be Light

The first point on our list is that classic photographers should refrain from carrying too many equipment for the shoot. As you know, kids have a lot of energy and they tend to move a lot. If you shoot with a lot of equipment, it will be difficult for you to adjust and align them each time. Golden words: be light and use only the most important equipment.

2. Get Familiar with the Kids

An excellent approach to have the coolest child photographs is to let the kid get accustomed to your presence. Talking to them for some time before the shoot. The more comfortable the child is in your presence, the more chances you have of clicking good photographs.

3. Capture the Eyes

Those big, beautiful eyes need to be the focus of your photographs! Focusing on the eyes is a great way to add intensity to an otherwise plain photograph. The unmissable sparkle in a kid’s eyes will make the picture more bright and lively. Even if you have to get down to their height level, do that. When you click from their eye level, you get unique and creative shots. Try different angles such as kneel down, lie down and keep clicking to capture the best in your camera. 

children photography- eyelevel shot
Get to their eye level for astounding shots 

4. Don’t Ask them to Smile, Make Them Smile

If you simply ask kids to smile, they will flash their teeth in front of your camera. It doesn’t sound very exciting and it doesn’t give you good photographs. The key to a bright photograph of a child is to make them smile. Carry a toy with you, crack a joke or make a silly face. Do anything that you can to bring out their natural smile. 

5. Inspect the Background

The background will not be visible to your subject, but to the viewers. Hence, always pay enough attention to the background. Make sure that it is simple, tidy and doesn’t have any element that will take the focus of the viewer away from the subject. At the same time, the background should not alter the perspective of the viewer. 

check the background for children photography
Background adds value to your photos (source)

6. Go Abstract

Sometimes, getting slightly away from the norms gets you a great picture. Altering the focus in a picture is a great way to display your creativity. Using the zoom to highlight a particular aspect of the picture is also another great idea for children photography.

7. Add Props

Children photography can be challenging yet fun-filled. To bring an original touch to your photos, you can add props. This simple trick works wonders for making the children comfortable and carefree. Include toys, books and other props for the child bring out a lot of expressions worth capturing.

8. Prepare well in Advance

If you want on-point clicks, then it is best to prep well-before the shoot. So, focus on picking the right location, timing, camera setting, surrounding and even the clothes. Having all these factors set, you can click all the shots easily. 

9. Go for Candid Shots

Candid shots are one of the best shot for children photography. Candid shots give an animated touch to the photos and trust us, these shots are attention-grabbing than the regular ones. You can click shots while they are engaged in their play activities or even when they are busy looking the world around. 

candid children photography
Candid shots of Kids

10. Be Patient

Finally, be patient! Yes, children photography can be taxing as you are dealing with energy bombs! During your photo shoot, children can get cranky and have terrible mood swings. So it is best to handle with care, stay patient, play with them, cajole them to lighten their mood. Just make sure not to show your frustration signs to them, else they wouldn't budge from their cranky mood! 

Ideal Camera Settings for Children Photography

First things first. Your equipment should be ready for clicking children. Unlike professional models or couple photography, children will not adhere to your specifications of posing. Therefore, it is a good idea to get your camera and equipment ready with camera settings for toddler photography:

  • Focus Mode

It is best to choose single point focus setting instead of the auto focus option. In children photography, your subject will move a lot and it is good to have the power to choose the focus every time.

  • Aperture Priority Mode

If your camera has one, it is good to choose the aperture priority mode. It allows you to alter the depth of field with each photograph. If your camera doesn’t have this mode, choose the portrait mode.

  • Shutter Speed

You should keep a shutter speed fast enough to capture the adorable little energy packets. Sometimes, setting the camera to sports mode gives you the optimal shutter speed for children and baby photography.

  • ISO

No fixed parameters exist for this aspect. In general, it is advisable to keep the ISO lower if there is ample of light around, and vice versa. Most portrait photographers follow this rule for good pictures.

  • Flash

This aspect is entirely left on the photographer. Depending on the background and lighting, sometimes, it may be essential to use flash, and sometimes not. Portrait photographers use the flash a lot, while it might be avoidable in other cases, but the decision is solely of the photographer. If using flash, check out our article on flash photography to see the finer aspects of the same.

  • RAW Image

This point is a common setting for all classic photographers. Shooting in RAW images gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to post-processing. Children photography is no exception.

  • The Lens

A seemingly minor point, but nevertheless, making a lot of difference is the kind of lens you use. It is a great idea to use a lens that can zoom well. For example, the 70-200 mm lens is very popular for photographing multiple children. Also, a fast lens comes in very handy at kid photography studios who deal with children all the time. When it comes to the best lens for child photography, Nikon offers a big range.

Now that you know the basic camera settings required for clicking babies, toddlers and children, let us look at some sure shot ways to get frame-worthy photographs.

Taking Pictures of Small Babies

While the advantage of photographing babies is that they are not mobile, the disadvantage is that you need to make some effort to get expressions from them. Taking their pictures with the camera literally at their level on the ground works wonders. If a baby is lying on the tummy and trying to lift the head, whereas if the baby is sleeping add some unique factors such as cosplay which brings a creative touch to the photos. 

Livingit tip-
Shooting in burst mode can get you some really amazing shots of small babies.

baby photography
Go creative with your baby photography (source)

Taking Pictures of Older Children

While older kids will understand when you tell them to pose, they will most likely not follow. In this case, it is better to let them enjoy what they are doing and you should capture some candid moments. This trick is often employed for couple photography too. You can also consider shooting in continuous mode for elder children because the snaps will line up beautifully in a sequence.

children photography
Natural Pose of Older Children 

Wrapping Up

Children photography is definitely a fun task! Make sure to capture every movement of these little munchkins and you are bound to get an amazing shot. If you are happy and smiling throughout the photoshoot, the children will also enjoy it.

If you have other tips and tricks for capturing good child photographs, share them with us. Happy clicking.

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