If you've just started out as a professional photographer, and you'll be photographing young children, make sure you're prepared for the experience. Young children require special handling, especially if you want to make sure that you get the right shots. Here are some tips that will help you get the right shots with the least amount of stress and frustration.
Time the Session Right
When it comes to photographing kids, timing is everything. Children of all ages will become extremely uncooperative when they're tired, bored, or hungry. To make sure you have their full attention, and that the risk of a melt-down is kept to a minimum, time your sessions right. The best way to do that is to schedule your sessions either first thing in the morning, after naps, or after meal times. This rule also applies to teenagers.
Choose the Right Backdrop
When working with kids, it's important that you choose the right backdrops. If parents want their photo shoots to be outdoors, you won't need to worry about hauling backdrops around. However, you will need to make sure that you take your time to choose the right natural backdrops for your photo shoots. For studio sessions, remember that textured, patterned, and brightly colored backdrops work great for young kids. If kids seem to be disinterested in the process, get them involved in the selection process. Choose two or three kid photo backdrops that will work well for the session and then let the child make the final selection. They'll be more eager to sit still if they're involved in the process.
Keep Things Simple
When it comes to taking photographs of young children, remember to keep things simple, especially where the props are concerned. It may seem like the session will go better if you have a wide assortment of props in the area but that's not necessarily the case. If your photo area is cluttered with props, you may have a hard time holding the attention of the kids you're photographing. Instead, choose one or two props and put the rest aside. That way, you're not competing with props for eye contact.
Don't Skimp on the Photos
When working with young kids, don't skimp on the photos. You may think that you have enough shots to choose from, but kids can be deceiving. In fact, you may fill an entire memory card only to discover that most of your shots contain blinks and blurs, especially where infants and toddlers are concerned. Pick a number of shots you intend to use and then double it. That way, you have plenty to choose from in the editing room.