Friday, 18 December 2015

12 days of Christmas photography tips. Day six, tip six: The Traditional Family Portrait Part 2 - Children

The Traditional Family Photography (Part 2) - Photographing Children.

As a family photographer I work in mix of styles with families.

I try primarily to work in a candid way, especially with children becuase as soon as they start to ignore the camera they become more relaxed. Alongside this type of photography I often mix in some posed shots of everyone smiling happily at the camera. So, Is there a magic formula? 

When it comes to photographing children it is easy to see why parents struggle to get that beautiful photo they long for. You know the one, your'e chatting to your little one or watching them play and you see that smile or that expression you long to capture on camera, the one that makes you go to mush inside but you have no camera to hand and if you did have you know as soon as you picked it up chances are you'd have just missed it.

Well fear not - help is here but first of all pick your backdrop wisely!

Shooting out of Doors

In Summer, Spring and Autumn nature tends to lend it's self as a beautiful backdrop for little ones. This photo of little Scarlett is testimony to this. 

Here we got Scarlet's Mum to lift her up so we 
had the blossom in the background which worked well. 

But becuase it's winter and cold and wet I'm going to focus on indoor photos with children. 

Shooting inside.

First things first, as discussed previously, pick the place you want to sit or stand your subject. Make sure there are no distractions like toys in shot and for an aesthetically pleasing photo, one you might want to frame or send to grand parents, makes sure the backdrop is aesthetically pleasing too

This fabulous sofa made for real interest as a backdrop with 
this little one and in this photo below we utilised the ultra cool 
wallpaper for an interesting backdrop.

Keeping them still

Well for really tiny ones you might want to use something like their high chair, a perfect way to keep them where you want them which additionally gives you time to get that fab shot. Try not to feed them anything really messy while taking photos - a biscuit works well and then just keep on photographing and eventually you will have one photo you love. 

Older Children

With older children you have more options. If you are feeling energetic then get them involved in a game and follow them around such as playing in a play house or you could get them to make you a pretend snack in their mini kitchen as we did with Sofia in the photo below... and ask them to tell you what they are doing as they are doing it. 

In this photo underneath I followed this little girl around as she was playing in her playhouse chatting to me about what she was doing and that's how I 
captured this cute picture.

Finally, is there a magic formula? Well for me there is and it involves talking to little ones and getting them to talk to you. I'm using little Martha, below, to show you what you can expect to see when you use a good chat to get a good photo.

Here we sat Martha down in a well lit area on a rather lovely sofa and I began to chat to her about play-school and who her friends were. These are results:

You will get some fabulous faces raging from confusion, to deep thought and then to a happy thought and eventually - BAM! - the shot you wanted.

If you try any of these tips do send me your photos I'd love to see them and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

However, if you are in that, 'OMG, I totally want a great family photo' place but are overwhelmed by doing it yourself then never fear, help is here! Click here to contact me so you can check this off your list. Easy Peasey

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