How to take professional photos of children – from babies to teens - Image #1

One of the most challenging subjects for photographers to photograph is children. Kids can be unpredictable and at times, very cranky. But children can also be one of the most fun subjects when photographing in the right setting and using the right techniques.

Kids dictate how the photoshoot will go – and it's up to you to keep up with their pace.

Whether this is your first time working with kids or you're looking to improve your technique, these tips will help you take professional photos of children.

Be Ready For Anything

When kids are involved in a photoshoot, you need to be on your toes – anything can happen. And if you're not ready, you may miss that perfect shot.

Try to anticipate what might happen, and position yourself in the right place so you're ready to capture the moment as it happens. Part of being prepared is having the right lens on and the right settings already set to go.

And while you're at, stop looking at the images as they pop up on the back of your camera. You'll miss the action, and that perfect shot may just pass you by.

There will be plenty of time to look through your shots after the photo session.

Get Down On Their Level

Perspective can mean the difference between a mediocre and a stunning image. Photographing kids, especially very young children, from your adult perspective makes them look even smaller. But when you get down on equal ground, you can capture the photo from their perspective.

Crawl on the floor, or get down in the sandbox. Experiment with fun angles and perspectives for unique and interesting photos.

How to take professional photos of children – from babies to teens - Image #2

Use the Right Focus Mode

Kids rarely sit still – even with a conventional photo session. And if you're taking photos at a soccer game or while kids are playing, you'll need to choose the right focus mode. Otherwise, you'll wind up with a collection of blurry, out-of-focus images.

Check with your camera's manual to find out which focus modes are available. Most modern camera have a continuous or tracking focus mode. What this mode does is track moving objects in the frame as they move closer or farther away. When you hold down the shutter button, the camera will continue looking for focus and may even anticipate the speed of the subject as it moves towards you, so your image is always sharp.

Alternatively, you can photograph in high-speed or burst shooting mode. In this mode, you can press down the shutter button and the camera will take multiple images in quick succession, so you can capture the action as it happens.

Have Fun

Kids can be goofy, and that's part of what makes photographing them so much fun. Those goofy, silly moments make for some of the best photos. But it's not always easy to get children to let loose and have fun. As the photographer, you can get the ball rolling by making silly faces or getting down into the dirt to play with kids.

When Photographing Teens, Treat Them like Adults

Teenagers are a little more predictable, and it's easier to shape the photoshoot to your own vision. But it's important to treat teens like adults. Treat them with respect, and their confidence will come through in the photos you take.

Photograph Teens Doing What They Love

Teens are often more camera shy than young children, which can make it a challenge to capture a great photo. To get teens to open up, try capturing them doing the things they love.

When they're engaged in some kind of activity, especially if it's something they love, teens will forget that the camera is even on, and you'll walk away with stunning images.

Photographing children can be a challenge, but if you're ready for anything and you let young kids take charge, you'll find that your photo sessions are more fruitful and less stressful. And if you're working with older kids, like teenagers, you can capture some great photos by simply having them do the things they love.