No matter how much you love to take photos, taking photos of kids can be a challenge. If you are finding yourself stuck, frustrated, or just plain out of ideas you need these three tips to improve your kids photography:
First, Have Patience
You can’t expect every photo session to go smoothly. For one, kids have a variety of moods and personalities. Some children are shy, or boisterous, some don’t like having their photo taken at all, or break out the cheese smile as soon as they see your lens.
No matter what type of personality you are dealing with you need to be patient. Let them settle, let them get used to you taking their photo, and don’t try to force the issue or you’ll just end up with stiff, uncomfortable photos.
You can help kids get more comfortable by letting them play, asking them questions, or having them tell you a story. Costumes can help too, as they let kids hide behind a persona so they can pretend to be someone else.
Second, Always Be Ready For the Shot
Just when you think you’ll never get them to give you a natural expression – BAM! There it is – so you have to be ready. With your own kids you may learn to read them to instinctively know when they’re going to open up, so you can be ready. With other people’s kids you just might have to stand ready for as long as it takes.
You also need to avoid constantly looking at your camera to see if you “got” the shot. When you have spent enough time using your camera you’ll be comfortable enough to check your settings only occasionally, instead of constantly.
Finally, Understand Focus Modes and Shutter Priority
Kids can be a challenge to photograph clearly – just when you think they’ve stopped moving, there they go! Understanding your camera’s focus modes will really save your bacon here, so get used to using AI Servo or Continuous Autofocus if possible (see this article for more details).
Remember the relationship between shutter speed and movement. If they are moving away or towards the camera you won’t require as fast as a shutter speed as movement that is heading across the camera. It can help to choose as fast as a shutter speed as your camera can handle without giving too wide of an aperture so you can capture all the action, whether fast or slow.
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