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5 Tips for Photographing Children

Children can be tough subjects for a photographer. They are not as patient as adults, and are always on the move. So, if you want to take great photos of your kids, try these top tips.

1. Get down – One of the quickest fixes for achieving great photos of children is to get down to their eye level. Too many photos are taken from an adult’s towering viewpoint when what you really want is something closer to the child’s perspective. Crouch, kneel, squat or lie down and your image will immediately have a stronger emotional impact.

CC Image Courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography (Flickr) [1]

CC Image Courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography (Flickr)

2. Need for Speed – Digital compacts often have a child portrait mode, but if your children are quick on their feet I would definitely try switching to sports mode. DSLR users should try shutter priority mode [2] with a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster. Make sure you also look for your continuous shooting options. When activated, your camera will continue to take shots for as long as you hold down the shutter button. This increases your chances of capturing the image you really want.

3. Keep it Natural – Although there are times when formal, posed pictures are exactly what you need, you will often find that the personality of the child is more clearly on show when they are doing what they love to do best. So, if you truly want to catch the raw emotions of childhood, forget about the poses, smiles, and everything else and just capture the moment for what it is.

CC Image by Vince Alongi (Flickr) [3]

CC Image by Vince Alongi (Flickr)

4. It’s All in the Eyes – It is often said that the eyes are windows to the soul, and this is never more more true than when you are photographing children. When composing your image [4], try to get a clear shot of the eyes, and make sure that at least one of your camera’s focus points are locked in on the eyes. If the eyes are bright and in focus, you’re almost guaranteed to have captured a keeper.

CC Image by babasteve (Flickr) [5]

CC Image by babasteve (Flickr)

5. Up Close and Personal – Try to fill the frame when photographing children and you will almost always be glad you did. Getting close to your subject eliminates any distracting backgrounds and focuses the attention of the viewer directly on the subject of your image. Try it and you will see what I mean.

With tips like these, you are sure to improve your chances of grabbing great shots of your kids. So try some out and see how much your child photography skills can improve with just a few simple tweaks.

~Jonathan Wylie