Even if you’re lucky enough to have perfectly behaved kids that clean up after themselves, get dressed, and don’t completely wreck your home on a daily basis, life is still busy. While the idea of setting up a portrait session may be a task that sounds beyond your grasp, you can (really!) take amazing portraits of your kids in just 15 minutes. Don’t think it’s possible? Here’s what you need to do:
Tip 1: Know your camera before you take kids’ portraits
Spending time fiddling with buttons and settings wastes valuable minutes that you could spend taking photos of your kids – so spend time before your photo session getting to know your camera. At the very least, know how to control aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, and your overall exposure. The less amount of time you spend making changes to your camera, the more time you’ll have to take photos!
Tip 2: Scout your kids’ portrait location
Having a pre-scouted location means you don’t have to waste valuable minutes moving around, so try to have a location in mind prior to starting your mini photo session. What’s in a good shoot location? Here are some pointers:
- Natural light: It doesn’t have to be direct sun (in fact, preferably not), but have a location in mind that has good light, so you don’t have to compromise with a slower shutter speed to risk blurring.
- Background: Ideally, look for a place where you can find a few different backgrounds: a brick wall, trees, sky, grass, etc. You don’t want it to be too busy or distracting – just add to the scene.
- Time of day: Keep in mind that some locations are better than others at particular times of day, late afternoon might be better than mid-day when it comes to working with the quality of light.
You can benefit from choosing a location where you know there are other fun locations nearby, or a treat for the kids (ice cream or a playground, for example) – this way you can extend the photoshoot if the kids are happy and you think you can squeeze in a few more photos.
Tip 3: Have a portrait session plan
Nothing is accomplished quickly without some type of plan first. This includes packing the necessary tools (camera, battery, lenses, memory card, etc.), knowing the route to get there and having your kids dressed appropriately. Next, have an idea of how you will conduct your photos of your kids: portrait, landscape, close-up portrait or pulled back. Finally, how will you pose your kids? Have a list of shots and poses, start from the top of the list and work your way down. You may not have time for all of them, but you’ll know that you’ll get the most important ones first.
Before you head out the door, make sure that everyone is fed and napped – happy kids make for happy portraits!
Tip 4: Roll with your kid’s portrait session
Not every 15 minute portrait session is going to go well, like many parental tasks taking portraits of your kids is something you have to learn may have the right timing, or the wrong timing. This may mean cutting your portrait session short by a few minutes, or cancelling and trying again later.
It might take a few tries, but one 15-minute session photographing your kids can yield incredible results.
Remember though, that if you really want to capture your kids essence in a portrait series you might need a bit of help. A one-0n-one photography workshop can yield great results. If you’re still pressed for time, consider scheduling a professional photographer to capture you and you’re family, before your kids are all grown up!