When I first started learning how to take photos of my kids, I wasn’t very good. They’re pretty much the worst models in almost all cases, and for someone who had started their photography career before they came along, it was a real learning curve.
When I started looking for easy portrait photography tips, they all assumed your model was a willing participant, which oftentimes wasn’t the case with my toddler.
And here I was, never expecting it would only get worse as my kids grew and started complaining as soon as I whipped out my camera.
Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tips for better portraits of children. Some of them may surprise you.
As with all things children, they participate much better if you have a give and take relationship with them. As children grow, they need more freedom, more unscheduled play, and more time with you. But most importantly they need to know you are truthful.
I found myself promising the kids I was going to put the camera down in five minutes, or after just a few more shots. I sounded just like them when they’re begging to keep swimming for “just ten more minutes,” which inevitably turns into a half hour.
Basically, I felt like a sham, and my kids were getting sick of it.
So, I actually bought one of those old timers from a thrift store and will set it for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. When the timer is going, the kids need to behave and allow me to take photos of them. They’ll even pose. Then, when the timer goes off, I put the camera away for the day.
Out of all of these easy portrait photography tips, this tip has not only led to better photos of my children, but it has improved our relationship. Additionally, it’s improved my relationship with technology because I now know when to put the camera down and just enjoy my kiddos.
Think about it. Are your kids going to behave better in church or in their favorite place in the world, like the zoo or aquarium?
When you’re scouting for locations, involve your children. Ask them where they would like to spend the day. Make a trade. You can go to the beach, if I can take photos of you while we are there.
All of the tips for better portraits I’ve found online sort of assume you, as the photographer, need help and not the other way around.
There is no better attitude adjustment than taking your child to a place they feel truly joyful.
By following these easy portrait photography tips, to let your children help scout locations with you and to really listen to their decision making, you will capture all of the best characteristics of your kid.
Your audience will be able to see the exact reasons you fall in love with them everyday.
Who doesn’t love sparklers, or bubbles, or confetti? Heck, we love these props so much even adults use them at celebrations like weddings and baby showers.
When you buy cheap props your kids love they’re not going to be focused on the camera, they’re going to be focused on their toys.