Taking candid photos of adults is often difficult enough. But children, well, that’s often an entirely different story altogether.
Candid photography is extremely popular these days, a trend we can expect to see more of because many people are catching on to the fact that candid photography, in comparison to posed photography, is so much more natural and captures the subjects and the uniqueness of their personalities so much more effectively.
Children are notoriously difficult to take candid photos of, especially when working with a commissioned photographer, because he/she is someone new. Plus they’re carrying a camera that looks far more interesting than the one mum and dad have.
For a commissioned candid photography session with kids to work, mum and dad usually have to be involved, though not all the time. Some photographers are naturals with kids and manage to find a means of getting them to focus not on the camera, but to instead be themselves and allow their inimitable personality and uniqueness to shine through in every shot.
Here are a few tips for taking candid shots of children with a commissioned photographer. And don’t hesitate to tap into the photographer’s experience and ask them for their suggestions and thoughts, as they’re likely to have a few.
Early morning and late afternoon are widely considered the best times of the day to take photos, with most photographers shunning the harsh midday sun. And this is just as well seeing that the kids will likely be hot and uncomfortable.
Candid photography is about the subject, not the background, which means the foreground is often included in the shots. As a general rule, the simpler the foreground the better. So you need to choose the location wisely and discuss suitable locations with the photographer.
The photographer you commission to take photos of your children will be able to offer advice concerning the location, time of day, etc. However, the location you decide upon has to not only be conducive to taking great photos, but also capable of keeping the kids entertained and involved throughout the entirety of the photo shoot.
As you’ll notice upon looking at some candid photography shots of kids, the best shots are those where the children are entertained and involved. In that case, they’re giving whatever they’re involved in their full attention, and most importantly, they’re not paying any attention whatsoever to the camera.
The local park or zoo are top choices because there’s plenty to keep them entertained and involved. If you’re after indoor photos, you could always hold the photo session at home since it’s an environment that children are comfortable with and they can relax and play with their toys or pets.
Kids are easier to take candid photos of when they’re comfortable with what they’re wearing. So parents are advised not to dress them in brand new clothes that they haven’t worn yet, but to instead let them dress themselves (if feasible) or with assistance. And in fact, picking out clothes for the photo session with them is a great way to get kids interested in the photo shoot before it’s even begun.
Entertaining the kids doesn’t necessarily entail involving yourself. For in actual fact, you should probably stay out of the shoot as much as possible unless the child is on his/her own – kids generally make for better subjects when they’re interacting with someone else – or the photographer asks you to play with your child, which is a great way to get them to focus on you and not the camera.
Props provide something for children to focus their attention on, so give some thought to suitable props for the location you’ve decided upon. They have to be appropriate if the photos are to appear natural. Also, note that telling your child not to look at the camera generally doesn’t work because as soon as you tell a child not to look at something their first reaction is usually to look straight at it!
Perhaps the most important point to make is to be patient with your kids and have fun on the day – that’s when those ‘Kodak moments’ tend to transpire.
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