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Tips for taking pictures of kids: 5 essential dos's and don'ts

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Photographing children often requires a unique approach; it is very different in different areas from shooting adults, and every child can also need his own 'approach.' Below I give you tips for children's photography with five important do's and don'ts. The tips for photographing children is for (photographic) parents as well as (professional) photographers.

Do: Making fun
Do not: Say 'Cheeeeeese!'

I love smiling children. Especially those laughs. Do your children also like to shoot beaming? Then make them laugh. Have fun, go crazy, tell a joke or make a game of it. The result is beautiful real smiles, and the child has it to his or her liking.

Incidentally, you do not always have to make a child laugh, and also other facial expressions are worth capturing.

A smile is not a must, but fun is necessary if you want to photograph the child more often. If something is not fun, I prefer not to do it more often. ;)

If the child does not laugh, do not say Do not say Cheese or Smile to the camera. Although there are children who can put on a lovely smile, the majority of the children smile at you as if they were showing their teeth to the dentist. You want to avoid this cheesy smile at all times; they do not give you beautiful pictures, but the child also thinks that this fake smile is expected of him or her. Chances are you will get this phony smile every time the camera appears.

Do: Rewards
Do not: Chanting

Reward the child if it listens well and helps to take the photos. A reward may be in the form of candy or a present, but it does not necessarily have to be something tasty or material. A compliment, 'high five' or letting the child determine the next setting for the photo, often work very well and also ensure that the child gets a good feeling and more self-confidence.

An absolute do not is to blackmail if the child, for example, does not want to sit or smile at the camera. With blackmail such as: "If you do not laugh now, you will soon get no fries/gifts/sweets / fill-in-what-it-kind-like-want" (and believe me, some parents/photographers do this kind of thing say), two things can happen. Or you get whimpering/crying / hoarse or the child puts his fake smile on and does not remove it from his or her face. In both cases, you do not get the beautiful pictures you hope.

Do: Camera at your fingertips & ready for use
Do not: "Do that again, mom/dad had not finished the camera yet."

To capture spontaneous moments, it is a requirement that you have your camera within reach, and you can quickly provide the correct settings. Are your children lovingly playing? Anticipate the situation, set your camera at the right aperture, shutter speed or ISO value and try to determine the right position and composition, or you can use a camera with best face detection. One of the example camera with best face detection is Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II. So you make sure you can take the picture as soon as the beautiful spontaneous moments occur.

Have you missed a beautiful moment? Nothing is as annoying as a fun moment that has to be performed in the scene again, because mom or dad did not have the camera in hand. The spontaneity is gone, the fun often too, making the chance of such a fake smile a lot bigger.

Do: Connect with the child's experience.
Do not: Treat a child as an adult.

To make a child of one and a half laugh, you do not say
"Rara, it's green, and it can ski, what is it?"
(Answer: Skiwi). For fun, you have to connect with the child's experience. A child of one and a half makes you laugh before by singing songs or making crazy sounds for example.

Do not treat the child as an adult. Again, it depends on age but keeps in mind that children are children and sometimes things will not go as you have in mind. Joining the child's perception can also start with introducing yourself. Instead of giving a hand, I prefer to go through my knees with toddlers and preschool and say "I am Laura, do you want to tell me your name"? I do not come across very intimidating, and I find out how the child responds to me.

Do: Take the time
Do not: Force, be impatient or rushed.

Some children will immediately see the photographer as a new sweet friend, but usually, the children need some extra time to get used to the strange person with that big camera. Give children time to get used to, for example, take a look at the older brother or sister, so they can see what is expected of them.

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