Posing, Lighting, and More
Taking good photos of a child is probably one of the most challenging tasks in the modelling industry, even for seasoned photographers. In fact, mommies or daddies who also act as the magicians behind the lens are virtually tied to what the kids want the session to be like, especially with children aged five years and below.
If you’re looking to take a photo of your child in the hopes of getting her into modelling, you may need to consider realigning your strategies and goals. Since you’re taking snaps that showcase your child’s best look, you must avoid taking photos with crumpled and tear-soaked little faces.
Lucky for you, doing this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. In fact, below are five tips you can try to regain control of the child photo shoot and finally get those portfolio-worthy snaps of your young aspiring model.
1. Be Patient
When taking photos of your child, it is important that you use every bit of patience you can muster. Remember that kids will be kids – they can be shy at first, play coy or even mess with you by running around. This is normal and the sooner you accept this fact, the earlier you can get the job done.
Just remember not to force or rush through it. Play and hang out with your child longer to get her comfortable. Once you do, you should be able to get a decent – if not a great – snaps for your child’s portfolio.
2. Trick Your Child into Posing for You
One thing that most children won’t agree to during a photo shoot is being forced into posing. You should be more creative in making your child pose, which means you may need to trick her into doing it.
For toddlers, you should start by getting down to your child’s eye level and allow her to play with stuffed animals or toys. This will be great in taking candid images for your child’s portfolio.
3. Go with Your Child’s Ideas
Sometimes, allowing children to lead the photo shoot is the best course of action. Instead of suggesting poses, let your child do as she pleases. Since you need to have her look at the camera for her headshot and body shot, you can ask her to do things that don’t sound anything like posing but can still get a scene worthy of a snap.
For example, you can ask her to show you the pockets of her jeans to get her into the classic hand-in-pocket pose or have her run quickly back to you for a more creative front-facing snap. From there, she should be pumped enough to pose on her own, without being forced into it.
4. Be on Guard
The key to taking good snaps of children, especially toddlers, is to always be on guard. Hone your quick reflexes to capture different portfolio-worthy moments as they happen. Learn to predict what’s going to occur and where you need to be when it happens. Of course, having a good action lens will also be a huge help.
5. Take Pictures under Natural Light
This tip can be taken both literally and figuratively.
For the literal part, remember that it is much better to take pictures under the light of the sun rather than with the aid of a flash since it is more evenly spread out and doesn’t cast ugly shadows. Leave the use of the latter for experts as they know how to add just enough artificial light to make a photograph still look natural.
As for the figurative part, taking photos under “natural light” means you have to put your child in an environment she is comfortable in. You can achieve this by doing the photo shoot at a park she frequents or in her own room.
You should also have her do something she loves. This can range from painting, reading her favorite book, playing with her best toy, and even helping in the preparation of food. Once you leave her in her element, she will surely give you plenty to work with.
A child’s innocence, playfulness, and natural sense of wonder are things many professional photographers wish to capture with their lenses.
As the parent of an aspiring young model, you have the chance to produce such images containing pieces of your child’s wonderful personality. Make the most out of it by taking these tips to heart to produce the best collection of snaps for your child’s modelling portfolio.
Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specialising in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.