Once you have established that your chosen family photographer has the necessary training and experience to work with young children, you should know the guidelines of what to expect from this type of photographer. Young children are extremely curious about life around them and have many interesting ideas on how to make their toys or playhouses look more exciting.
In most cases, young children may get bored with light photography, as the camera is used frequently. It is best for the photographer to choose a different subject to keep the child’s attention. Young children will be excited about anything with bright colors and they often do not understand the concept of black and white photography.
Some older children may have developed or slightly embarrassed interests in certain subjects, such as dinosaurs or the latest celebrities. This could be just what the family photographer needs to get those important moments out of the way for the rest of the children. A professional photographer who has been training with young children may be able to help the young child relate better to a subject if it is not that exciting to the little one. Perhaps the photographer will even introduce a little bit of unfamiliar subject so that the child can become accustomed to the surroundings before attempting a more challenging picture.
A young photographer should never use a flash on a small child, as this will simply expose the subject to too much light and there is no need to add a splash of color into the scene. Some photographers may even choose to shoot at a lower shutter speed so that their pictures are more light-sensitive, and the photographer will be able to correct the child’s focus easily when necessary. The photographer should always take the time to look up information about each child’s needs and interests, as well as any training that may be required by the family. Make sure the child is comfortable with the photographer before the session begins.
Depending on the activity, some children may prefer a more dynamic image, especially if they are engaging in physical activities or are drawing, while others may be content with an image that more closely mirrors their natural expressions. A professional photographer should be able to adapt quickly to the style of the subject and introduce the photographer to all the opportunities available to capture the child’s imagination.
Make sure that the family photographer knows how to set the camera for white balance, since it is the most important aspect of any photograph. If the camera cannot set the white balance properly, the pictures may be rendered in colors that are slightly overexposed.
For example, if a child is playing with a doll and a hand is moved, the camera can be set to the wrong color. The photographer may not notice the problem until the image is already printed, but the child may suffer from burn-in after the print is completed.
The best photographs are made when a child or a group of young children are in natural situations, so keep the family in mind during the session. A group portrait may be even more successful when several young children are included in the picture. Keep the group relaxed and be prepared to focus on all the kids.
Make sure that the children are dressed for the season, whether they are in shorts and a t-shirt or fancy dresses. If a child wears traditional clothing, it may have a negative effect on the picture. Make sure the children are comfortable with their own outfits and are not embarrassed to show their faces.
It is important to remember that children will tend to change their minds about the poses they want to have in a portrait at some point during the session. In this case, ask the children directly what they want. Most children are quite honest about what they feel they are looking for, but if a situation arises where the photographer must choose between two poses, it may be best to change things around.
For example, when the photographer wants to have children with their heads tilted, they should aim for the same pose throughout the time they are together. Never allow the kids to have the same pose for more than five or ten minutes at a time. Most children only have a few moments at a time in which they want to be in one position, so it is crucial to have a constant and consistent perspective on the portrait.
Once the children are done being photographed, it is also very important to give them time to explore their surroundings and play with toys that are usually on the table. This is a special moment and it is a good idea to encourage the children to have a cup of tea or a snack while the photographer takes their photos.