I need advice on photographing children

Please give me any advice on how to get stock quality photographs of my grandchildren. We live in the country and sit with the kids about 2 weekends a month. I have many opportunities to photgraph them in great settings.

My problem is that they either are too busy to pause even for a second or they see my camera and put on a very wierd smile. I have tried bribery, but they seem to want to sabatoge my photos. Also they get dirty pretty fast, too.

Any advice?

Thanks, Dee Dee Dixon

Photo credits: Deborah Dixon.

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November 24, 2010


What great advice! I will try to use them. By the way the picture I posted in this blog is my grandaughter trying not to get her picture made. How many of those can take and feel like I have a diverse portfolio?

November 24, 2010


I used to shoot kids a LOT. This is how I worked ... set up a situation that gets their attention then back away. Let the kids interact on their own while you shoot photos. I used a moderate telephoto 135 - 200 to remove the obvious presence of the camera. Also, wear the camera more often even when not shooting and after a while, they will notice it less and less. My experience comes from photographing kids for 3 years working at a newspaper and for 7 years working at kids' summer campgrounds.

November 24, 2010


I photograph mainly kids and teens and the best bits of advice I can give you are make the session short and fun and heap praise on them. Once they start to get bored or if they are not in a co-operative mood then forget it and try again another day. Bribery can also work wonders;)

November 24, 2010


Sometimes I get my husband to distract them whilst I shoot, I get much better smiles that way. Also they love getting new props and are happy to pose with them for a short while. Keep them busy as a few contributors are saying below, if their minds are off the camera they are also easier to photograph, but think about the set up before they start doing whatever they're supposed to do as they have a short attention span. You won't have time to fiddle with your camera! Take lots of shots and only keep a few afterwards. Good luck, it's a lot of fun!

November 23, 2010


There was a good blog by Homydesign sharing videos broadcast about the subject! Maybe the videos can't be watched now but it might lead you some where for good tips! Good luck!

November 23, 2010


When my son was 6-7 years old he figured out that it is basically boring to be photographed, especially when his father is fussing endlessly with the manual focus, the default at those days. He is 25 now :).
So what I did was to have a friend of his over, and explained to them that I hire them as models just like in the movies, and they can make money just by standing still and in the position I asked them. They were very happy and cooperative and I paid out quite a few quarters. Eventually they got bored of this too, but it worked for a while.

With smaller children my best advise is to let them play and take the shots using a tele zoom from a few yards away, do no interfere with their activity.

November 23, 2010


I don't want posed pictures and that is part of the problem. Their father and his father are camera nuts and want them to pose all the time. My problem is that see the camera and they smile really weird. I like the idea of letting them take pictures of me. I can set up the tripod and begin with that. Also I will have to be faster on my trigger finger. I will try this weekend. Thanks, DeeDee

November 23, 2010


The only tip that i can give you is, let them take turns in taking photos of you. You will be surprise how interested they become in what they are doing with you then, plus they will learn and understand more about what you want.

November 23, 2010


What kind of pictures are you trying to take? "Nice portraits" don't sell well, mainly because the database is saturated with those kinds of images. Give the kids crayons and paper, takes pictures of them drawing, out on the old tire swing, playing in the sandbox, etc. PEOPLE DOING THINGS is a gold mine in stock and very few Contributors have yet to figure that out. I would encourage them to get dirty!

November 23, 2010


Make them play and have fun or eat something. Since kids move fast and change their positions very much and quickly you need to arrange your scene first.

Using a continuous shooting is another good tip for capturing the best photo.

A friends help would be also great I think

November 23, 2010


My only advice is to try to focus on getting shots of them doing something so the photo has a concept. I've found that shots of beautiful babies are lost in the crowd unless very well done, while a shot of a baby being changed, child skiing, etc. are in more demand...

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