How To Take Stunning Photos Of Children
How to take photos of children? This question is asked by many photographers, for this reason, we dedicate this tutorial to this main topic. We will help you to choose the equipment and shooting parameters, give you tips regarding composition and lighting, and also unveil the basic principles of communicating with children, required to take photos of them.
Let's begin with several tips regarding the adjustment of your camera settings to photograph children
1 - Aperture priority mode. Shooting in this mode using fast lens will allow you to control the depth of field, what is important for portrait photography, in this case the background will be blurred, emphasizing the object of photography. The best value will be f/2.2-2.8 (considering the conditions of shooting) for a close-up portrait, and f/2.8-4 for a full-size portrait. These values are conditional and are used by the author of this lesson, you may experiment with your camera settings to define those, and you will consider the best.
2 - ISO. Depending on the conditions and environment of shooting (inside or outside) and the light, set the ISO value on minimum that your camera allows to avoid noises. ISO 100-200 - if the light is good enough. If the light is poor and with low ISO the shutter speed becomes long, you can compensate this by increasing the ISO, however, I recommend to keep it under 800.
3 - Focus mode. Set the focus mode to a single point – with children, who constantly move, this will be the best decision. Unfortunately, it's impossible to choose focus mode in simple compact cameras (maybe you should think about changing the camera? :)
4 - RAW or JPG. If you have time and skills to make some post-processing work, try to take your photos in RAW. Thus, you will have more options while post-processing your photos later. And again, I want to underline that compact cameras don't allow you to choose the format while saving images.
5 - Flash/Lighting. if your camera has a hot shoe, it's better to refuse from using the built-in flash at once. If your photo session takes place inside, use an external flash to reflect the light from the wall or ceiling (if they are white) or use a diffuser to create indirect soft light. If you don't have an external flash or it can't be installed on your camera - try to shoot with natural light and thus your problem will be solved (except for the moments when you shoot against the sun, in such a case you'll need to use a fill flash technique).
6 - Lenses. If you have a camera with interchangeable lenses, your choice will be determined by such parameter as lens speed, we've mentioned about it at the begging of the lesson. While taking photos of children in motion, it's better to use zoom-lens, and during a static photo session – the best variant is fixed-focus lens. Zoom-lenses will allow to photograph informal long shot scenes, and wide-angle lens can be used for panoramic photos.
Before giving any particular tips relating children photography, it should be mentioned that the child should be completely relaxed and feel comfortable during the photo session. You can show the children recently made photos, let them look through the viewfinder and even let them make several shots.
7 - Secret photography. Try to photograph children as secretly as you can. They can be busy doing something they like at that moment. Use zoom lens.
8 - Posing. The elder children like to pose, however, little kids don't pay much attention to that and photos, on which they try to pose, sometimes look a little bit unnatural and strained.
9 - Take photos on the level of the child's face. A common kid is a half smaller than you and if you photograph from your height, the photos will look rather common and inexpressive, and the proportions of your child's body will be disturbed. Therefore, get to the level of your child.
10 - Focus on eyes. Pay maximum attention to the eyes of your child. Well-defined eyes will always attract viewer's attention. If you want to get extraordinary shots, use burst mode.
11 - Make the photo session extremely fun. Try to put your kid in a good mood and make him/her smile, ask to do some funny things, this will fill the shots with motion and energy and will help your child to relax. The happier the child will be, the more sincere and unusual will be the photos.
12 - Editing. Use Lightroom Presets or Photoshop Actions to enhance and improve your photos. Our Children & Family Lightroom Presets, Adobe Photoshop Actions and Camera RAW Collection will enhance fun family moments and will give to your photos a professional look.