Childrens photography can be quite tricky. There are many ways to go about the task of photographing children. You can get them into a studio, have them cry for 30 minutes, have them cling to their mothers and eventually you blow soap bubbles of desperation to (hopefully) make that shot happen. I’ve been there once, and I’ll NEVER do that again.
This is not a rant, nor is it a “Look how good I am at this…I do it the right way” kind of post. This is me sharing how I like to work. Thats all. 🙂
What I hear a lot of parents say is that ultimately they want pictures of their children that show their joy in life, their warmth, their immediacy of mind. Unless your clients have trained monkeys this will most likely NOT happen in a studio. If it does it usually means spending 6 hours getting them to be comfortable.
I found it to be SOOOO much easier, when photographing children in their own environment. I do not get control over backgrounds, and the light will be tricky and sometimes uncontrollable. But I will get pictures that show them in their element. Interacting with their world, doing their stuff. This will most definitely add to the images, and I will get those happy children faces that are so hard to capture as a stranger. Also I don’t throw the pictures away that isn’t a smiley face. They can show the true character of the child, and parents usually love these “off shots”.
So in short. To get that shot, I go to THEIR turf. And stick to THEIR rules of play.
Stay humble, yet playful. Observe, but attend. They will soon reward you with the trust you need to get your shots framed.
The small mirrorless cameras are PERFECT for these assignments, cause they’re not quite as scary to children as BIG DSLRs with BIG lenses. They fit the agenda of gaining trust, and keeping that trust.
Sara & Mikkel
Fujifilm X-T1 w/56mm f/1.2 and natural available light