thirteen Child Photography Ideas to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

thirteen Child Photography Ideas to Make your Creative Juices Flowing

13 child photography ideas

Youngsters are some of the most rewarding subjects you’ll ever photograph. They bring a sense of fun, excitement, plus wide-eyed wonder to a picture session – but photographing children can also feel mind-boggling and even a bit chaotic, particularly if you’ve never done this type of work for clients before.

These 13 kid photography ideas will give you lots to think about before your next program, and can hopefully serve as a starting point for you to think about your personal style and techniques, as well.

Let’s dive right in.

1 . Ask the child to bring a prop

Doing kid photo sessions can be difficult, but imagine what it’s like for the kids. They’re in a strange location with parents fussing over their clothes, while other people are making faces plus telling them to smile. It’s positively overwhelming!

One thing you can do to have the children a sense of calm and peace? Encourage them to bring the prop . Let their parents know beforehand, so they can help the child pick out something special plus meaningful.

Crammed animals, a favorite toy, and even just a photo or some artwork from home can go quite a distance toward making a photo program fun. These help kids feel at ease, and while you can of course bring your own props, these people just don’t have the same sentimental value as a prop which means a lot to the child. Many years down the line, these props will help add a sense of context to the photos you had taken, plus parents will enjoy looking back at their children using their favorite toys or dolls long after the actual props are already relegated to a box within the attic.

2 . Let kids be kids

two kids being silly
Nikon D200 | 50mm f/1. 8G | f/2. 8 | 1/80s | ISO 200

Children see the world differently than adults. They find pleasure in little things, use emotions on their sleeves, and march to the beat that belongs to them drums. I have seen many photographers throw up their fingers in frustration when working with kids because the kids won’t pay attention to directions. I can certainly associate, especially since I have kids of my own! It’s enough to make you want to give up on loved ones photography and work with, say, inanimate objects.

But in these situations, the best advice I have is to just embrace the randomness that kids bring to a photo shoot. Let them be who they are, even if it’s a little goofy, odd, or out of the ordinary. Be ready to capture some photos along with your camera on its high-speed continuous mode , and don’t be scared to get your hands or clothes dirty in the process. (I’ve lengthy since learned to wear comfortable pants and sandals to family photo sessions, and to put them in the laundry as soon as I get home! )

The best-laid plans of mice, guys, and photographers often go wrong, but these fun moments are usually when you can get some of the most unforgettable pictures from a photo session.

3. Show their personalities

Every kid is unique, and they express themselves in many different ways. One thing you can do for making your photos stand out would be to encourage the kids to let their sense of individuality shine through. While the outcomes might not be your own personal favorites, moms and dads love images that capture a sense of who their kids really are.

So whether the child is creating a silly face, doing an odd pose, or even choosing their nose, moments that capture genuine personality frequently end up making for the most memorable photos.

By the way, personality-focused photos are an easy way to build rapport with kids. Kids often come to a photo shoot with a healthy serving of trepidation and skepticism, especially if they have been bossed around by other photographers at previous picture sessions. In case you let them show their personalities, they will usually relax and trust you a little more, which helps when it comes time for more formal pictures, like group shots or headshots.

4. Photograph the shared special times

intimate moment between grandmother and child
Nikon D750 | 50mm f/1. 8G | f/2. 8 | 1/250s | ISO 200

Credibility is a special thing. As photographers, we often aim for specific results, and while the ending shots might be great on a technical level, these official images can be bereft of substance and emotion. I usually try to find a way of capturing special moments, especially in between parents and kids, even if the resulting images don’t the actual traditional rules of digital photography.

Things like holding hands, a warm embrace, a special look, or an embraced laugh help peel back the shiny veneer of perfection we often strive for, and instead let us capture some thing real . You can’t fake these occasions; you have to be prepared with your camera so you can capture them if they happen.

In the photo above, I actually captured a grandmother holding her new baby granddaughter, and even though the child is sleeping and many of the adult’s face is not really visible, the image tells a tale that goes well over and above “Look over here and smile. ” In the end, it was one of my clients’ favorite images from the entire program.

5. Choose a walk

Do you shoot pictures on location? Heading out for any walk is a great way to embrace your surroundings while furthermore capturing some really fascinating shots that parents plus kids will appreciate for a long time to come. Have your clients take a short walk and document the excursion with your camera. Take shots through the front, from behind, and also from above (if you can find a high vantage point to shoot from).

One of my favorite types of walking shots consists of parents holding hands with their kids. This conveys a sense of care and tenderness while also ensuring your subjects are all on the same focal aircraft. A zoom lens isn’t necessary, but it certainly is useful, as you’ll spend less time chasing after people and more time taking photos. Make sure your camera is on its high-speed continuous shooting mode, since you might need twenty or 30 shots to get one that you really like.

And if the children are not old enough to stroll on their own, just ask the parents to carry them (or give them a ride on their shoulders) for some equally memorable pictures.

6. Operate for it!

children running
Nikon D750 | 70-200mm f/2. 8G ED VR II | f/4 | 1/350s | ISO 500

This is a tried-and-true technique for getting some outstanding images, and it’s a great way to make an impression on your clients with photos they certainly can’t capture on their own.

Use a contact lens (preferably a 70-200mm f/2. 8 or f/4) and a high-speed continuous shooting mode. I also recommend Auto ISO with a minimum shutter speed of 1/500s. Back-button focus helps, but most modern digital cameras have such good autofocus that you can usually just depend on that.

After that stand far back through the kids and tell them to run toward you on the count of one…two…three…GO !

Begin with your lens zoomed within as far as it will go, after that slowly decrease the focal length as the kids run toward you. You only have 5 to 10 seconds to shoot before the kids rush past, but that is usually enough for some great shots. Your number one objective here is to get as many photographs as possible and sort them out later.

Most of your shots won’t be too significant, but some will be amazing and something or two will likely finish up printed, framed, and hung on a wall. I recommend briefly reviewing your photos as the kids are catching their particular breath, and if you’re not really certain that you got some good photos, just tell the kids to repeat the exercise.

7. Let the kids play around

one child whispering to another child
Nikon D750 | 70-200mm f/2. 8G ED VR II | f/4 | 1/250s | ISO 160

This one is not always easy to pull off, but if you can catch kids while they are playing, laughing, or joking around, it’s such as striking photographic gold. A few photographers choose locations which are more conducive to this kind of freeform play, but unless you have your own private recreation space, it’s not always the simplest action to take.

Rather, I try to laugh plus joke with the kids simply by telling them a funny story or asking them to do something silly, which often network marketing leads them down their own innovative rabbit hole.

For the photo above, I told the boy in order to whisper a joke in his sister’s ear, which made both of them giggle. Then I stepped back and started taking pictures whilst she told her brother a tale. They went back and forth like that for a while, taking our initial idea and operating with it way beyond what I expected.

The kids had a great time just playing around, and I was able to get some photos that their parents definitely loved.

seven. Take photos from above

kids lying together on the bed child photogaphy ideas
Nikon D750 | 50mm f/1. 8G | f/4 | 1/125s | ISO 400

Want to take exclusive shots that will make your clients call you for do it again photo sessions? Bring a ladder along with your camera equipment.

After that stand up high – make sure to be safe! – and get some shots of the kids from above. These can be slice-of-life images with the children actively playing or reading, but Also i like to have them look up in me and smile while I take their picture.

One wonderful thing about overhead pictures is that you don’t need any fancy camera gear (such as wide-aperture lenses). Background blur isn’t an issue since the kids are so close to the surface or floor, and the children usually aren’t moving around excessive, either.

This means you can get outstanding images with a basic camera and kit lens. The originality of these shots comes from the particular camera angle, which is something a lot of people don’t really think regarding. It’ll make the resulting photos memorable and unique, which usually your clients will greatly appreciate.

9. Get a group hug!

three kids hugging on a bridge
Nikon D200 | 50mm f/1. 8G | f/2. 8 | 1/320s | ISO 200

The key to a good group-hug photo is definitely timing. It’s not difficult to have all the kids get together – just tell them to pile on or around the largest child, then start taking photos! The difficult part is knowing when to do it.

If you shoot a group-hug picture early in a photograph session, you won’t have the kind of genuine emotions you might otherwise capture. If you get the group hug picture past too far, the kids and their mothers and fathers will be tired and may not have to get in the mood. However , if you possibly can snag a group hug at just the right time, the results are amazing.

That’s exactly why I like to do group hugs about halfway through a photograph session. It’s nice to access know the families first, do some individual shots, and get pictures of the kids with their moms and dads. Then, after about fifteen or 20 minutes, many people are more comfortable – and your customers, especially the younger ones, start to lose a bit of steam. That’s a great time to get some pictures of all the kids together!

Doing a group hug injects some necessary energy into a photo session, helps the kids and their particular parents relax for a bit, plus sets the stage for any successful second half.

10. Read an e book

Every kid has a beloved book. Whether it’s an image book, a novel, or even a coloring book, these gifts work wonders for your photography. It is easy to get kids in order to smile and laugh if you ask them to read their favorite story, and you’ll get the chance to capture photos of them lost in their imagination as they change the pages.

One of the biggest benefits of photographing children with books comes years later and is not readily apparent during the photo program. You see, when parents consider the photos after time has given, seeing their kids reading their favorite books always brings back the rush of emotions.

11. Provide a four-legged friend

kids and a dog
Nikon D750 | 70-200mm f/2. 8G ED VR II | f/4 | 1/250s | ISO one hundred

There’s one surefire way to add a lot of excitement plus emotion to a children’s photograph shoot: let them bring an animal. When you involve a cat, dog, lizard, or some other animal friend in an image session, you will get plenty of huge smiles, genuine emotions, plus great shots.

Pets put kids at ease and give them some thing to focus on besides you and their parents, plus these pictures often make for great recollections years down the road. However , photographing with pets carries a few important risks, so you need to make sure you are prepared.

Pets, even friendly types, can get nervous and start acting up during a photo program. I have never been bitten by a dog or some other animal while shooting, yet I have had them nip at me and my camera gear.

Animals can also be moody and uncooperative, which worries out the parents – and also the children – at times. Usually, what I recommend is concerning pets in a small portion of a photograph session but not the whole thing.

Have a family member or trusted friend take the pet in for a few minutes. Capture some pictures, but then ask them to take the pet back home. That way, you get the benefit of shooting pictures with pets without some of the hassles, and you and your customers can be happy with the results.

12. Get a basic headshot

child photography idea headshot
Nikon D750 | 85mm f/1. 8G | f/2. 8 | 1/250s | ISO two hundred

There’s a temptation amongst photographers to try always try something new, break the mold, and chart their own program through the uncertain waters of child photography. And while that is often a good thing, there is a time for everything underneath the sun, and this certainly pertains to photography.

Basically: when you’re taking pictures of children, it’s great to try new, creative, and innovative ideas – but it’s also good to include some of the staples of the genre, like the classic headshot .

These photos aren’t complicated, but they are often overlooked by new photographers who are eager to attempt new things. In truth, you can’t go wrong with a traditional headshot, and many of your clients will expect these types of images along with the some other, more creative photos it is possible to capture.

To get good headshots, use a wide aperture between f/2. eight and f/1. 8, make sure that your subjects are evenly lit up, ask them to look at you and grin, and start pressing the shutter button. If your subject’s attention keeps wandering, have a mother or father or sibling stand straight behind you (and if your camera has it, use eye-detect autofocus).

The resulting pictures won’t earn awards for creativity, however they will look great when published, framed, and hung on the wall (which is where many of your clients will end up placing them! ).

13. Use an initialed brace

child with initialed item
Nikon D750 | 70-200mm f/2. 8G ED VR II | f/3. 3 | 1/250s | ISO 400

Remember the way i suggested you use a child’s prop? For a fun perspective on this idea, ask your clients to bring something with all the first letter of their child’s name on it. The object does not have to be fancy, and you might even consider getting your own array of stuff as a backup, just in case your client doesn’t have anything that functions. The point is to add a bit of private flair to your child pictures – to give them and take note pizzazz that they might or else lack.

This method works best with very young children, usually no more than 18 months old. In case you go much beyond that, it starts to look a bit cheesy and forced, even though it can still work with the right prop (say, a t-shirt or jersey that plainly displays a first initial).

My favorite technique is to use simple wooden abece blocks. You don’t need to spell out the child’s entire name; just adding their own first initial goes quite a distance toward making a standout photograph. It also sends a message to the parents that you care enough to go the extra mile, and this helps lead to repeat business and referrals.

Child photography ideas: final words

My most important rule when taking pictures of youngsters is to make sure they have enjoyable. If the kids are furious, bored, or irritated, it will certainly come through in the pictures – and the same goes for you. (After all, the surly photographer is not going to obtain great shots! )

These 13 kid photography ideas should give you plenty to think about as you strategy your next session, but at the end of the day, make sure the experience is exciting. Relax, take a breath, lighten, and have a good time. A positive attitude is one of the best things you may bring to any photo event, particularly when children are involved.

What about you? Exactly what are some of your favorite child picture taking tips and tricks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Simon Ringsmuth

Simon Ringsmuth

is definitely an educational technology specialist at Oklahoma State University plus enjoys sharing his passion for photography on his internet site and podcast at Weekly Fifty. He and his brother host a monthly podcast called Camera Dads exactly where they discuss photography plus fatherhood, and Simon also posts regularly to Instagram where you can follow him as @sringsmuth.

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