10 top tips for getting great photographs of children

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If you find it tricky to get great shots of your kids, it could be that you need to do more than just “point and shoot”.  A little careful planning can go a long way…

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Use these tips to go from ‘snapshot’ to ‘great shot’.

1. Don’t worry if your own children won’t pose for you, it’s because they’re YOUR children – they are used to you!  Try teaming up with a friend – let them shoot your kids and you shoot theirs – usually, you’ll find they respond much better!

2. Keep it short and simple – kids love doing different things and get bored very quickly -keep changing what you to do – make it fun, and change backgrounds or clothes every 10 minutes to keep everything fresh and interesting.

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CharlieP0194_wide_3203. Don’t shoot kids against overpowering backgrounds, such as flowers and trees – use something neutral, like a painted door, beach or something which is a long way away from them, out of focus, so the emphasis is on the child and not the background.

4. Make sure kids are fed and not tired before doing a shoot – you will not get good results if they are not feeling their best!

5. Photograph them in the shade so they don’t squint in the sun. Try placing them in the shaded area of your front doorway – this always produces a very flattering light for close up face shots. If there isn’t any shade – shoot into the sun, but take the exposure carefully from their face.

6. If there is no shade on a beach – ask someone to hold up a towel above him or her to block the sun and create a soft shadow.

7. Use a zoom lens so you can get further away, and hopefully the kids won’t notice you taking pictures, which will give a more natural result.

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8. Try and dress the kids in clothes which look good with the backgrounds – it will improve your pictures dramatically.  Pink dresses look great against bright blue doors; pastel colours look good in green fields; denim looks great in most places, particularly against industrial textured buildings, i.e. factories.

9. Don’t bribe your kids with sweets, they will only chew them and want to wade through the whole bag which will ruin your shots! Suggest a biscuit/drink break occasionally to encourage them to do what you want, and then they get a reward!

10. For best results, either shoot when they don’t know you’re shooting, (particularly good with under 5’s) or if they are older (5-95!), get them totally involved and treat the whole session as a modelling game – pretend you’re all going on a fashion shoot; plan the whole shoot with them, do their hair, clothes, etc. and they will love the whole experience!

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More tips and pictures in this recent Digital SLR Magazine article below.

CLICK HERE to view.

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Watch videos of Annabel photographing children in Capture magazine below.

CLICK HERE and turn to pages 6 and 7 to view.

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