So many parents believe that photographing their children is hard. We think we must dress them up, force a smile on their faces, and then put them in a particular place. In reality, this only causes children to run from cameras! Therefore it causes us to believe even further that capturing images of our children is a difficult task!
Instead, try to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Take the pressure off of yourself and your children, and you’ll be amazed at how much they will beg to be behind your lens!
Try these methods and I promise you will have wall-worthy photographs in no time:
1. Never use the words “Say Cheese”!
In fact, don’t even ask your children to look at the camera. Forcing them to acknowledge the camera’s presence brings either fake smiles, awkwardness, or anger at the fact that Mom or Dad is forcing pictures again. Instead, try to be a fly on the wall. Allow them to forget that the camera is even there. Capture daily activities, playing around the house, eating favorite foods, or bedtime snuggles with their teddy.
2. Talk to your children while you photograph them.
Be silly! Ask questions. Ask what they’re playing with, why they’re doing that, or what’s behind you. Make noises, quack like a duck, and even throw in some tickles! You’ll be sure to capture some great giggles, and your child(ren) will spend some time pondering their answers. They’ll even look directly at you while they do.
3. Create photo-worthy moments at home.
You don’t need to pack everyone up and plan a family outing in order to have what you think will be a great backdrop for photos. Take photos at home! Set up a fun activity for your child – maybe something you find on Pinterest – and then bring out your camera. Not only will you love the images you create, but your child will start to associate the camera with FUN! Just make sure you remember that absolutely no work is needed to create a lasting memory. The best memories are those that are natural, and in your home – the way you and your family experience it every day.
4. Get down on their level.
Children love when adults come onto the floor and play with them. It creates a deeper connection for both, allows them to feel equal to you, and even allows adults to feel more like playful children! Not only will everyone involved have more fun, but the perspective of the camera will add so much to the story.
5. Let each moment be what it is.
I find this to be most important when I am taking photos of my son. It is important not to pry, change what your child is doing, or try to force laughter, etc. Just let them be themselves! It makes your job way easier, children have way more fun, and you will enjoy the photos more looking back at them. I always find that when a moment is forced, I value the picture less.
Try to have fun and bring out your camera often, even if it’s only your phone. One day you may move, and your children will grow, but you will be blessed with authentic memories to look back on. Memories that were not forced, with no awkward smiles, and no outfits that you had to beg your children to get into. Photographing your children can be easy, if you make it so.