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5 Tips For Photographing Kids

Blake and white photos are just the best, aren't they?  I know a lot of people prefer color (I always ask my clients and they generally tell me so anyway), but the timelessness, emotion, and classic look of a black and white image just does it for me.

Several weeks ago, I partnered with Austin Moms Blog for some summer mini-sessions offered to AMB readers...nine to be exact.  I loved how they turned out, but wouldn't you know, the black and white were my faves of all the kids...even in a setting where the vivid colors of the watermelon were one of the main components of the shoot.

Here's a few of my favorites:

Photographing children is both super rewarding AND challenging...and maybe a bit more on the challenging side at times.  Having the experience of both photographing my four children over the years, as well as shooting numerous children/family clients, there are some key pointers I use every single time that help the whole shoot run smoothly and produce the best images possible.


1.  Eyes are key.  Make sure at least one of your focus points is always on the eye closest to you.  Children's expressions come from their eyes...capture that and you're already ahead of the game!

2.  Safety first.  I have a horror story of trying the get the "perfect shot" of Tyler Bree when she was about three years old.  She fell backwards off a 4 foot drop into thorns and brush...I know, so bad...but I sure learned that hard lesson.  No matter if the shot is amazing, do not EVER place the child in harms way.  Not even a tiny bit.  Never.

3.  Connecting with them builds trust and genuinity.  I had a shoot the other day where one of the kids was NOT having it.  His mother was frustrated, he was moody, and the whole thing went south really quickly.  I gave him a little break and then said, "Hey, why don't you and me just walk over this direction for a bit and see what we can find."  Making him comfortable with me without a camera in his face allowed him to relax and let his guard down...and subsequently produced some of the best shots of the entire session.  Take the time to build trust, even if it's just a little wink to let them know you "get it".

4.  Be patient.  This tip applies more so with little ones...babies and toddlers.  It can seem as if you'll never get "the shot" as they're fussing, moving, drooling, basically doing everything that's NOT preferred in a picture, but hang in there and wait. Keep your finger on the back focus button and just be a silent observer.  Remember, patience is a virtue.  (Not one that I'm very adept to, but you know...)

5.  Candid is sometimes (actually quite often) better than posed.  This tip goes right along with the above.  Children rarely enjoy posing (for very long, at least), so being able to recognize when those precious candid shots may present themselves is golden.  This is magnified where siblings are and relationships are the perfect backdrop for candid facial expressions, positions, and general hilarity.  A great candid shot edited in black and white???...Stick a fork in me, I'm done.


I hope these tips come in handy whether you're photographing your own children or with photography clients.  It's always a learning experience for me, so I'd love to hear some of your tips as well for photographing kids!

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  1. I love your typo in the opening line. "Blake and white." It shows where your mind is :)

  2. These turned out to be incredible! You did such an amazing job with those kids!



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