Photographing Kids

by Elisha Snow | 9 years ago

If you have children, you know that there are many important events that come up in a child’s life: a first birthday, dressing up for Halloween, participating in elementary school productions, playing in sporting events, dance recitals, piano and other musical concerts, school dances, and many, many more.

The thought of capturing each one of those moments with your camera can seem overwhelming, especially when there’s low lighting, unfamiliar venues, or other unknown variables that can make it difficult to get that prize-winning photo of your child excelling in everything they do.

So here’s a little trick that I do as a mom and professional photographer: I cheat! I’m giving you full permission to actually stage those photos one or two days before the actual event. I love to have great pictures of my kids participating in the things they love, but I also love to sit and just enjoy watching my sons devour their first birthday cake, slide into home plate, sing their lungs out in the school play, and race down the stairs every Christmas morning to see what’s been left for them under the tree.

Here are a few ideas for getting great photos before the big event:

  • If you’re taking holiday photos, use a backdrop that would reflect the actual holiday. For Halloween I place my kids on our front porch surrounded by pumpkins. For Christmas, I take pictures in their pajamas near the Christmas tree. 

  •  If you want to get sports or recital photos, take your child to the sports field or to the concert venue. That way you can avoid large crowds, and even use a flash if you need to for events that otherwise discourages flash lighting.  

  • For first birthdays, arrange a “cake smash” a day or two before the birthday when your child isn’t already overwhelmed by the excitement of the day, and the crowds of people around him.

Obviously, not all events can be staged, but try your best to enjoy the special moments with your kids, rather than hide behind a camera the whole time. You’ll enjoy those fleeting moments more, and your children will appreciate looking out to the audience and seeing your smiling face, rather than a camera attempting to capture their every move.

Learn more about upcoming workshop Professional Children's Photography here


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