Children are the hardest subjects to capture with your camera. They don’t typically sit still (at least mine don’t—please write me with instructions if yours do) and they normally don’t smile on command.
But for most of you, children are probably your primary subject! So here are a few pointers for taking pics of kids:
To begin with, don’t ask them to say “cheese” (or any of those other annoying little words) In fact, I wouldn’t recommend asking kids to sit still or stop wiggling. This almost always results in an unnatural looking shot or, in my case, kids having a bad attitude.
Kiddos are the most photogenic when they are simply enjoying themselves. So rethink your tactics for taking their picture. Interact with them as you are shooting. Ask them questions that will make them laugh or smile. Have them play games or look at something that will capture their attention.
A photographer friend of mine took pictures for our little fam last year. Caly was three and MJ was not even one—tough ages for shooting. But she was fabulous! She had these little toy people (or maybe they were animals) that she would stick on her head. The kids loved looking at them and watching them fall off. She would snap away as they were completely engaged with the toy. Brilliant!
If I really want a child to look at the camera, I ask them to see if they can see my eye through the lens. This recent image of Tori (after some ice cream!) was taken while she was trying very hard to find Auntie Na-Na’s eye. They won’t be able to find it so you can usually get a few shots in before they give up.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. But try and think of ways to get your children (or others you are shooting) to enjoy an activity and forget about the camera and then start your picture-taking. Your images will improve, I promise. And you will never ask anyone to say “cheese” again.