A Beginner’s Guide to Photographing Children
Mac users, we're pleased to announce Macphun's all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for purchase with special launch pricing. (Existing Macphun customers get a further discount.)
We rated Luminar as "Highly Recommended", and you can now visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
FTC Disclaimer: this article has been sponsored by Craftsy
Craftsy offers a free Professional Family Portraits class that teaches you how to take professional family portraits
1. Shooting at Home
Taking pictures at home, rather than in a professional studio, has become popular in recent years. Your home is a much more natural environment for children, as it instantly puts them at ease.
Start by moving the couch out of the living room to create an area big enough for the shoot.
If possible setup a grey seamless paper roll on a stand to create a neutral background, or failing that use an uncluttered wall for more environmental portraits.
Window lighting provides beautiful natural, directional light that you can utilise during the shoot.
White ceiling and walls are perfect for bounce flash - if they're a different colour, use a white sheet.
Most importantly, make people feel comfortable at home. Don't make too many changes to their natural environment.
2. Kids are Impatient
Make sure that you perfect the setup first before bringing in the kids - they'll quickly lose patience with you if you're not ready.
Use faster, longer lenses to defocus the background - a fast 85mm lens is great for portraits, but the long end of the standard zoom that came with your interchangeable lens camera is also good.
Position your subjects at least 6 feet in front of the background, in order to defocus background and to drop shadows behind them.
3. Using Flash
Use a flashgun to help freeze children's movements.
Bounce the flash off the ceiling to increase the lighting sweet spot - setting the shutter speed to 1/25th sec and the aperture to f/4 is a good starting point.
Invest in a flashgun that can be tilted towards both walls and ceilings.