Following on from my previous blogpost "Clacton On Sea Children's Photographer - Photoshoot with Kaci!" I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the tips I would give to other child photographer's in order to keep the children they are photographing entertained!
This is a difficult task because as we all know, children have very short attention spans. Despite this, there are a few things I have found that work for me so now I'm going to share them:
- Firstly, and most importantly, you need to really engage with the child that you are photographing and make them feel at ease around you. When I first meet a child, I tend to greet them by introducing myself and holding my hand out for a handshake; at first the child is usually a little apprehensive but they like the gesture as shaking hands is something they see adults doing, so it makes them feel special and grown up.
- Make them laugh and have fun! This is so important if you really want to capture those natural, cheeky grins. Asking a child to look at the camera and smile is often an almost impossible task; the child is in a big open field with a football, why would they want to stand still in front of your camera and pose?! They want to play!
They tend to want to run, run and run and run. This works great for me though because this sparks running races! Tell the child you're going to race them and run alongside them, they get all giddy and begin to enjoy themselves, associating you with enjoyment.
Another surefire way to make any child giggle is tickles! If you get the child's parent, friend or sibling to become the 'tickle monster' they are bound to go crazy & laugh like mad.
- Ask the parent's to bring their child's favourite toy along to the photoshoot. Nothing is more comforting for a child if they get upset than their favourite toy! No matter what it is, teddy, football, pogo stick or bike. Toys are a great way to make them feel at home and enjoy themselves. Plus they add a touch of uniqueness to the child's photoshoot.
- Involve them in the photo taking. Show them sneak peaks of the photographs from the back of your camera, they get all excited (especially the girls) and want you to take more after they've seen themselves looking cute.
- A tip for photographing the really little ones: Finger puppets! You can buy a set of finger puppets for as little as £2, or if you're super arty then you can even try making them yourself. This is a great way to engage the younger children during photoshoots, even if you do just want them to look in your direction, finger puppets are a great way to make them notice you.
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