How to Captivate Children When Taking Photos

How to Captivate Children When Taking Photos

One of the things that happens a lot when photographing families is, the photographer send the kids out to run around a little bit to get better photos. In my right ear I suddenly hear mom and dad screaming, “Hey, get back here, don’t do that, stop doing that”. The problem with this is, as soon as kids feel that their imagination is stifled, the fun stops and the photos don’t turn out as well. When you’re photographing kids, say yes to everything. Let them run amok, give them a timed free pass. I had an experience where in this one photoshoot, we had a brother that wanted to put his little sister’s upside down. The mother was initially like, “No, they’ll get hurt”. I was like, “Hey, we’re insured at the end of the day. The more fun the kids have, the better the photos will turn out.

The other thing to keep in mind when photographing kids at play, is to let their imagination run rampant. Sometimes it’s not enough just to say yes, but to foster it. Ask questions, get them thinking, get them exploring. The more activities that kids are involved with while they’re being photographed, the more stories are going to come out. Whenever families bring their kids in to be photographed, before I even pull out the camera, I am playing with Barbie dolls. I’m playing with cars and trucks. I’m even having tea parties and mud pies, for a good 20 minutes. What we want to do is foster their imagination. We want to say yes to everything that kids wants to do and we want to create that relationship with them, so it comes out in the photographs.

Enter the Kid’s World

Most importantly, we want to be able to move quick. We want to be able to get into their world, get some great shots of them. So, there are several things I’ve learned over the years about photographing children. First, is scheduling, you know we’re going to be photographing children of different ages, so it’s important that we fit our schedule to synchronize with their schedule. We want to know what times are there best for the kids, and not that are best for us. Summit Shah has a special skill at entering a child’s world and capturing some remarkable photos.

Different age groups require different levels of patience. Just go into it with the expectancy that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to take time. Don’t get frustrated, just keep your cool when things aren’t working. Just keep shooting , eventually things are going to start to happen in the photographer’s benefit, so be persistent. Just keep shooting over and over again, encourage them to back into the place you want them in. Talk to them, instruct them to keep their positions in a playful manner. Most of the time, as with anything, persistence pays off.


I would like to suggest taking a little bit of time to just talk with your clients, especially those little clients. At the start of every single photoshoot, I don’t even pull out my camera right away. I just talked to the kiddos, and then eventually, within about five minutes, I’ll start to pick up my camera and put it around my neck. I’m still just having a conversation and just helping them get comfortable with me, so that they can feel comfortable in front of my camera lens.

Getting children to take great photos can be a breeze. It just takes a little preparation, persistence, and patience. Overtime, this will become second nature.


Author Bio: Adrian Rubin is a graphic designer and stay at home dad


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