These tips for photographing children all pertain to having a set or stage prepared. Photographing children while they’re playing is, in my opinion, easier as long as you’re considering your framing at all times. I’ve found it helpful to consider the following when children are posed.
1. Have everything set up
If you have different backdrops that are going to be used, hang them up ahead of time. Have the change of outfits ready as well as any props that will be used. Test lighting ahead of time. Basically the child should not be waiting for you to do anything. They will lose interest quickly. I’ve also found it to be helpful if the child becomes familiar with the settings ahead of time to help them become more comfortable. This would mean letting them roam around before getting to work.
2. Make sure the parents understand what is going to happen
If the parents understand the process they can make life much easier. Coordinating the backdrops, outfits and props will make the transitions between each smoother and save time. Kids trust their parents. Parents become a great resources at helping their kids feel comfortable and helping them smile for the camera.
3. Once started, move quickly through poses and props
Children do not have a long attention span. Once you begin you will only have the child’s attention for a small window making each frame important.
4. You cannot force anything
It’s just not possible to force a child to do what you want. Parenting would be easier if it was. Therefore, we need to be able to communicate effectively with the child for cooperation. Asking the parents about the methods they use to coerce their kids or how they think the child should be communicated with to get them to cooperate is an excellent resource that should be used.