If you have ever tried to snap photos of a little one, then you know what a daunting task that can be. I think that sometimes even the professionals have a hard time with it; especially when it comes to taking photos at birthday parties. I have hired photographers to take photos at birthday parties, and at the end of the day I felt like I just didn’t get any of the shots I was expecting. As I thought about this, I realized that both photographers and parents could use a little advice. I asked Josselyne Hutchins of JLondon Images to help us out with this one.
From the perspective of a mother and photographer
1- Come down to the child’s level. From an adult’s point of view, the images of the child will appear from a bird’s eye view. 9/10 this is not the photographer’s objective. The best shots of children are taken from their vantage point. In addition, better images of the child/children are produced.
2- At a birthday party, refrain from asking the child/children to turn and say “cheese“all the time. Capture the children playing and if you would like to take a group picture be sure to give them a more fun word to say, for example “Elmo”, “summer” or “birthday”. If you choose to do count down before snapping from three, make sure you snap on two or one. This also creates a better image.
3- Do not be afraid to get close. Some individuals do not feel comfortable getting closer to the child or children. Some may be able to use their zoom lens if applicable. In some cases lighting will not allow you to produce a quality image via a zoom lens and so it is just better to shoot closer to the subject. Do not be afraid of the children. They are probably more scared of you then you are of them.
1- Prepare your child or children for what is about to happen. Introduce them to the photographer some moments before the event. Children react well and feel more safe when they know what will happen as opposed to being surprised with strangers, especially one giving directions from behind a camera.
2- Create a safe environment. Depending on the age of your child, the younger he/she is the more secure they will feel in a familiar environment. This will play out in the images taken.
3- Trust your photographer. If you believe you have chosen the right person for the job, you have prepared them and have explained your expectations, and then you have permission to enjoy the party with your child. It is as much your celebration as it is your child’s. This can be “taken” as a weird pointer, but some parents are so nervous (or excited), that if they are following the photographer around constantly giving direction, it can make it very challenging for the photographer to be as creative as needed.
I want to thank Josselyne for helping all of us out. To learn more about Josselyne, and to see her work, please visit her website. Do you have a great tip for take pictures of little ones? Comment below and share it!