Photographing Children - From a Child's Point of View
the thoughts of a small child on picture day
"Mommy is very nervous today. She has fixed my hair three times! First she pinned it up. Then she combed it down. Now it is up again. Something really important must be happening today. My best outfit has been cleaned and pressed. The buttons are buttoned and my sash is tied. Mommy said that I mustn't get my dress dirty"
"I think I heard Daddy say that the photographer is going to shoot me." (long pause) "I'm sure I must have misunderstood. Maybe he means with a needle like at the doctor's office! That will hurt!"
"It's my turn now. Uh-oh! I knew it! Look at those bright lights and scary equipment. The photographer person is all in white just like the doctor! Here comes the shot!"
A young child is almost always suspicious and anxious about new experiences. Even an infant can sense tension from his parents. So it is your job as the photographer to keep a cool head. Make the photography session a positive experience. A soothing and patient demeanor is your best approach. After you get those great first expressions, get down on the child's level. Yes, I do mean mentally and physically. Let her know that you are not a threat - just a silly person that wants to play!
Photo credits: Cynthi Kovach.
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