Georgia resident, Dina Lettre
, is a mother of two boys, 10 year old Sam and 6 year old Luke, and has been photographing her children since 2007; originally as a platform for her in-laws to see their grandkids. She became more involved in the mom blogging community after her second son was born and her blog has only gotten more attention and praise.
Let’s face it, photographing kids can be difficult…especially when the camera comes out. They typically run right to it, or run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. Both are challenges, and ideally, you want them to just ignore the camera altogether. Here are some tips that usually help:
Tips And Tricks For Photographing Kids
1. Bring your camera to them
Kids are always more comfortable in their own territory. Whether it be the backyard, a pool or a bedroom, you’ll find that’s it’s much easier to get genuine images of kids where they feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to get down on their level. Sometimes this means you might get dirty or wet!
2. Keep them busy
Allowing the kids to continue playing (or any other distraction) will keep the focus off of you and your camera. And children that are enjoying something often elicit the sweetest facial expressions…best of all, you’ll avoid the dreaded “fake smile”. If the kids aren’t busy, giving them something new to learn, like a craft or recipe, can make for great photos.
3. Make them laugh
Another way to avoid the fake smile is to encourage laughing. Some kids, especially younger ones, tend to over-think “Smile!” during a session. Sometimes the situation might prove to be funny. If not, I will ask them to help me sing a silly song or take turns telling jokes. As soon as they stop thinking about smiling, their smile is instantly natural. This is especially helpful when you need a more posed shot, say on vacation or at school.
4. Get them moving
Playing sports, riding bikes or running in the grass…it should all be preserved in photos. (Using a tracking focus or sports mode on your camera will make the photos crisper.) And, you’ll have the added benefit of natural light.
5. Don’t focus on the face
Some of my favorite photos don’t even show a face. So much emotion can still be shared, and you won’t have to worry about the fake smile, the angry pout or even the tears. This works great with kids that really don’t want to be in a photo.
6. Get in their face
This works best with cooperative kids, but nothing’s better than a photo that’s up close and personal! It often allows for better focus, as well.
7. Snap, snap and snap some more
Be prepared to take a lot of photos. I’m always amazed at how many shots I have from just one outing, but usually there are only a handful that I really love so I’m happy that I didn’t hold back. And, many times the photos that didn’t make a big impact at the time, turn out to be favorites as I edit.
All photos courtesy of Dina Lettre and used with permission.