Who doesn’t want great pictures of their child? However chasing down a toddler with your camera can be a bit daunting!! Here are some helpful tips and tricks I use when capturing shots of little ones. For more examples of my work visit my website here.
The best time to photograph your child is when they are happiest. At all costs avoid nap time or meal time. I find I get the best results right after breakfast so kids are fresh and have a full stomach.
2. Set up Before
It’s best to set up any “scenes” or props before you begin photographing. Children are hard enough to get to stay still, so it’s best to maximize the time you can spend photographing and minimize the time you are setting up.
3. Keep it Simple – Babies and toddlers usually have a mind of their own. If they don’t want to wear a hat, by all means don’t force them, otherwise you are creating a recipe for disaster.
4. Candid Shots – It’s hard to get babies and toddlers to sit still or pose, so it’s best to get candid shots of your children. Candid shots also allow you to capture the unique personality of your child.
5. Get Down on Their Level – It’s better to shoot at eye contact instead of down at your children, so it’s time to get down on the floor with them.
6. Get Close – Get as close as possible to your kids, so you can capture those sweet faces.
7. Continuous Shooting – Don’t wait for the right moment to take a shot and even if you think you have captured the perfect picture, keep shooting. It’s best to have way too many, than not enough. You can always eliminate the bad photos. As a professional, I usually get one good picture for every 5 I take. If your camera has a continuous shooting mode, use it! This will help you capture those fast little toddlers who like to move. Also, make sure you are ready to shoot because we all know that babies and toddlers don’t stay in the same spot for long!
8. Props – Sometimes props can act as a distraction for babies and toddlers. Give your child something that you don’t mind having in the photograph, but that will also hold your child’s attention long enough for you to get a few shots in.
A small chair or stool might occupy a younger child if they can stand up by leaning on it or a toddler may even sit for a few photos for you. Just know that they won’t sit long, maybe 20 seconds, so be ready to shoot.
If you are taking holiday pictures try a wrapped present, a candy cane, a Christmas ornament or some other holiday prop. You can also try a favorite toy or stuffed animal, which will be sure to keep them happy for a few moments. Some other good distractions for children are music, bubbles, or balloons.
For a girl some good ideas are Mom’s shoes or pearls and for boys you can give them Dad’s briefcase or a football. Something unique to your family is best.
If worse comes to worse, I give a child a sucker and let them go to town. They will be a slobbery mess, but they will hopefully be sitting still.
9. Flash – I prefer to take pictures without flash on children, but keep in mind the limits of your flash. If you are closer than 6 feet you don’t need a flash and it’s probably not good for your kids to use a flash that close. If you are more than 10-15 feet than your flash will probably be of no use, since it won’t reach that far.
10. Have a Helper – Have a helper to distract your toddler or baby. If Mom is taking the photos have Dad stand directly behind Mom making funny faces or noises. However, keep in mind that they will be looking at that person instead of at the camera, so either have them stand directly behind you or just know that they will not be making eye contact with the camera.
Jessica of Lovely Fitzgerald Photography is one of the most sought out newborn photographers in North Dallas. If you are interested in booking a shoot with Lovely Fitzgerald Photography or would just like more information please contact Jessica.
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