How To Photograph Children

In the many types of photography you could do as a photographer, baby shots may be the most difficult. Even if you are not a professional photographer but you are trying to get a great looking portrait of your own child, getting them to cooperate is a major effort.

The first rule to live by with baby photography is that, as difficult as it sounds, BABY the is boss of this photo-shoot.  The entire process has to be built around the fragile mood of the child.  But there are a couple of tricks of the trade you can use, no matter if you are a professional or amateur to get the best shot of your little one.

Babies respond best when they are fed and rested (as do adults) and when they are with people they know and trust and when they get all the attention.  So right away, you as mum and dad can see to it that the shoot happens - when requirement number one has been met.

BUT... that is not always easy.  If you have an appointment to take your little one to the get his or her portrait taken at the local photography studio, that mood may not be the way you want it to be once you arrive.

That is why, if at all possible I would discourage taking the shots in a studio.  If you can set up a shoot at the baby’s home, where there is a comfortable setting with familiar surroundings, you have many more opportunities to get that smile that will make the portrait of a lifetime there.  Now that calls for a “house call” by the photographer but if he or she is a photographer that wants only the best shot of your child, they will work with what YOU want.

Another advantage of scheduling the shoot at home is that you know when baby usually is at his or her best so you can schedule it when that time of day is just right. If the photographer can show up during baby's nap time, there is plenty of time to stage the shot before your little one awakens.  This way, by eliminating the car ride to the studio, you take away a huge risk of the mood changing for the worst on the way.

A second tip comes from the fact that children - especially babies like people they know.  So if the photographer has time to meet the child, they should take the time to play with him or her and get a rapport started, then they will be more receptive to playful direction to get the shot you want.   You will have to be creative how you introduce the camera as it can either be an object of fear or it can be looked upon as a toy and the baby will want to play with it. 

By setting up the room with the kind of backdrops that will create a good portrait, you can then have the baby begin to play with his or her toys and interact with parents, siblings or the photographer in a happy way.  Before long that sound of the camera clicking and even the flash will become familiar and the baby won’t feel uneasy about what's happening around them.

The best shots are of baby laughing - natural candid emotions.  Try to get on the same level with the child as he or she plays.  Mom and dad know the type of things or games that always get a laugh so exploit their 'inside information' extensively.  The baby will be much more comfortable getting to know you while hearing those familiar sounds coming from around the photographer, which means you should do well at getting that little laugh or smile you want.

By learning the baby’s personality and how to get in sync with the child, you can coax pictures from the shoot that might otherwise be impossible to get.  And that is what you want ...a portrait of your little one that will last a lifetime.

As a professional - you know there is MUCH more to taking a photo than just taking the photo.  You know that when taking a portrait - you need to make your subject feel at ease, and help them relax in front of the camera. I have received great feedback in this area and know that if you care about people (and children) you take the time to make people relaxed, and comfortable in-front of your camera. 

There is no difference with photographing a child. With an adult - I take the time to have a chat with my subject. If the subject can't talk - then Its important for baby and children to feel you are not a threat, and it makes all the difference with the photos you can produce.  Mum and Dad will really appreciate that too.

I'd love to photograph your little ones. I have a working with children's check and would be happy to speak with you about exactly what kind of kids portraits or family photos you need on 1800 82 9994