Photographing children – action can be an important style element
Photographing children need not result in an endless stack of children posing somewhat awkwardly for snapshot quality photos. With just a few elements you can transform the ordinary photograph into something worthy of mounting and then hanging on your family’s picture wall.
I’m not guaranteeing that all your photos will become masterpieces. But you can be well on your way to taking better photographs.
- Instead of posing the child or children, photograph them while they are playing. You will end up with natural looking shots. Doesn’t matter what they are doing. In this series of photos, these six year old girls were doing what comes naturally on the beach, walking around looking for seashells, hermit crabs and somesuch. In their play, they didn’t pose for these photos. In fact, they paid me no mind. Do this and you end up with natural looking shots.
- Consider taking photographs from different perspectives. Maybe a profile from a low-angle, maybe a 3/4 frontal. You will end up with a wider range of photos and maximize the chance that some of them will be very good. Remember, different perspectives can be accomplished by the child climbing or sitting or any dynamic movement.
- Consider the use of props or accessories (toys etc) for activity. Props allow the child to extend limbs, turn their heads, reach up/down. These movements can make for graceful or photogenic “unposed” poses. In some of these photos, one girl is wearing a hat. Not only did the hat cover her head from the tropical sun, it also added an additional point of interest to the photograph, making the girl to appear a bit stylish in some photos.
- Pay attention to the background. Consider the background an important part of the photo. It shouldn’t distract from your subject.
- Look for nature to help. Wind, sun, shade or any natural occurrence doesn’t have to be distraction. Use nature to your advantage. Look at the photos where the breeze added a different dynamic to the child walking.
There are other things that one can do but these are a good start. Give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.
These photographs were taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens and Nikkor 135mm f/2 lens. The photos were shot in Hua Hin, Thailand.