For people that have had a shoot with me, they are probably surprised at what a clown act I can be!
After a shoot involving kids I often come away exhausted, but it’s ALWAYS worth it!
Here’s some of my thoughts on photographing kids, even your own!
When I meet a family on a shoot, I make sure I connect with the kids as soon as possible. Treat them
with the same respect as I would their parents. Introduce myself, make eye contact, even shake hands.
Ask what their names are, and how old they are. I involve them in the conversation while we are walking
So. Once we start snapping…
I try hard to never ask them to smile! Do you ask your kids to smile when you photograph them?
Probably! It’s what we all do aye! I bet you they do pull one out for you, but I bet it is the cheesiest
grin ever!! Before you know it, all your photos are looking the same! Sometimes I ask my boy to
give me his silliest smile! He does a super goofy one… and then I wait, looking through my lens
until the real smile comes out shortly afterwards, and I snap that.
But there are better ways…
It’s not rocket science: Have fun!!!
What do we do when we are having fun? Duh!
Sure some kids are harder than others, and I
could write pages about this stuff…
but lets just cover the easiest kids…
A silly hat, or a pair of rabbit ears can work wonders…
make yourself look like a silly billy! And tell them that
you are one. Most kids love it. Suddenly it’s not about
taking photos, but they are interacting with you.
Alternate between interacting and having the camera
up ready to steal a frame or three.
If the camera is up constantly covering your face,
you won’t be connecting with your subject.
With practice, you’ll get quicker at knowing when to
lift it your eye and click the shutter.
Make a list of funny words too, I often pull out some funnies…
(with parents permission)… farts, boobies, poos & wee’s etc etc..
Sure, some kids look at me perplexed, but most have a load of fun.
Also, if you sense the dad is a funny guy (they usually are)
get him involved too. Parents behind you acting like total goofs often gets the best reaction!
This is the tip of the iceberg, get out there and find your own ways of managing reactions and
connections through out a shoot. Try stuff on your own kids! And sometimes you may wind
them up a little too much too and you need to find ways to reengage them and center them again.
Tis why I love kids! Every shoot is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.
They sure do keep me on my toes, but the rewards are priceless!
Enjoy! and if you try some new techniques after reading this,
please let me know how you get on!