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Tips & Tricks // How to Photograph Children

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Photographing families sounds easy, but the more kids you throw in the pile, the more difficult it can be!  There are a lot of articles out there with suggestions like bringing snacks, toys, etc.  Those are all great ideas that I highly encourage, but today I want to share some fresh suggestions specifically for photographers.  Enjoy!

1)  Understand that they’re children.  Expecting them to act like adults is unrealistic.  Hopefully, they will be respectful children, though.

2) Give each child a break so he has time to explore and regroup.  Often times they’re in a new location & they want to see what all is there.  Set clear boundaries & expectations such as, “Alright, why don’t you go play for a minute while take pictures of your sister?  Then it’ll be your turn again, so don’t get dirty!”  When one child needs a minute, focus on groups of others, or individuals of others.  Or maybe it’s time for the parents pictures?  Be ready to change things up as the children’s moods change.

Here’s a favorite I got immediately after photographing their little brother solo.  Their dad had them sitting down and was making them laugh in an attempt to keep them from running wild.  Go dad!  It worked, and makes a pretty cute picture of them just being themselves.

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3)  Let them help! Let her choose where she wants her picture taken, or ask him to stand beside you and help make his parents smile while you’re taking their photo.

In my last family session, I even let the oldest daughter take pictures of her younger brother.  She was starting to get restless (see #1) and so I promised her if she’d continue to smile sweetly for a group photo, then she could taken pictures of her little brother afterwards.  This totally made her day!  I had her sit in the grass and showed her how to hold the camera and look through the viewfinder.  Afterwards, I edited the photos and sent them to her parents separately so she had a finished product of her own work!  Now, that’s definitely not something I’d do with every family, but something neat that I may use again in the future.  Here are the pictures from the budding photographer:

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4) Embrace childhood.  If a kid photobombs a shot, just roll with it.  Often, if you just laugh and ignore it, it’ll be a one time deal.  I love giving families some outtakes because they usually show their personalities the best!

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What tips would you add to this list?  Have you ever photographed groups of kids before, or have you been the parent in this situation?

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