View Full Version : Tips on Shooting the Kids

08-31-2007, 10:50 AM
Previously, Nicole has given us some "serious" advice on photographing children. In a more lighthearted vein - I found this list of "how tos" in the Toronto Globe and Mail - although it apparently originated in the Christian Science Monitor:

Shooting the kids

Photographing children can be challenging, writes Jody Mace in The Christian Science Monitor. Kids have short attention spans and are wildly unpredictable. She offers some tips:

Take care in how you arrange them. Separate the kids most likely to hit - or else take separate pictures. You can always photo-edit them together later.

Make sure their outfits don't clash. If one child spills ketchup on his shirt, consider spilling barbecue sauce on the second child.

If your children get antsy, take pictures of someone else's children. That will show your kids, especially when you hang the pictures in the living room.

Let the child be part of the action. Young children love taking pictures, especially with very expensive cameras that are out of warranty.


Pehaps folks here might want to add their own "tips"? ;)

09-01-2007, 10:17 AM
Warning, do not put just-fed babies on Dad's shoulders and always keep a good ear on tummy gurgles during neked baby shots - especially the ones resting on Mum or Dad's chest.

Oh, bribery will get you everywhere! Especially when you promise your child their birthday gifts early, but make the photographer responsible in deciding if/when your child receives them.
-hmmm lol

eddie gunks
09-01-2007, 01:16 PM
"Tips on Shooting the kids"

hard to resist.....
line up the cross hairs:):)

09-01-2007, 01:28 PM
Warning, do not put just-fed babies on Dad's shoulders...depends on the shot you want :)

Actually I recently blogged on this topic (http://www.botzilla.com/blog/archives/000414.html) -- not so much in terms of "tips" but in terms of "what are the possibilities and expectations"? For a variety of reasons, I think this is a very APUG topic, btw, and I deliverately mentioned APUGgers in the post.

A big part depends on the audience -- pictures I like are not always what the grandparents want (heck, my parents -- at least one of them -- prefer to get the 5x7 school ID photos -- it's what they think of as "pictures of the kids").

(Primary tip, which applies to both parenting and photography: remember that kids are just small people -- and individuals)

Pic for the grandparents (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjorke/1165922582/)
(prints well wallet-sized, btw)

Pic for me (http://www.photorant.com)

Tom Duffy
09-02-2007, 12:08 PM
"Tips on Shooting the kids"

hard to resist.....
line up the cross hairs:):)

Or the line from "Full Metal Jacket", "How can you shoot women and kids?", "Easy, you just don't lead them so much."

You're right, VERY hard to resist.

But keep in mind that you're invested a lot in your kids, I wouldn't recommend anything more than a taser.

09-03-2007, 08:44 AM
Including the kids in the picture making process can go a long way to making good pictures of the kids. If they are invested in making the photograph, they'll be considerably more cooperative, and you'll get great stuff.

I also like to hang back and just watch them play. At this point, my kids are pretty used to me in the background with the camera. It rarely interrupts what they are up to. Which I like!!

Struan Gray
09-03-2007, 02:04 PM
I have examples of all the types of photo mentioned here and in Bjorke's blog post - including one taken by my wife of a laughing baby and a vomit-covered father. It's impossible to give tips (even cynical ones) until you know the reason for pushing the shutter, even if that reason is unspoken.

I love most the photos that show what I imagine to be my childrens' inner life, although from the glimpses of that life revealed by what they say my photographs are more about my lack of imagination than their wildly lateral way of thinking. I prefer the everyday miracles to the groomed portrait - however intense - but on the other hand, I am not unaware of the interconnection between spousal acceptance of gear lust and the production of cliched shots of the kids looking cute.

I think it is somewhere in the Winogrand interview that is currently all over the blogs that he makes the point that family snapshots are the most staged photos of all. I think this is doubly true once the snapshots are edited for inclusion in an album or display on the wall.

For me, the best tool to get children to behave is a well-placed grandmother. The only thing that beats it is a well-placed grandmother with a digital camera.