Kids can be adorable, innocent, and candid. When photographing kids, however, you may never know how the situation will turn out. It is common to hear of horror stories from other parents who need to wrestle with their children to get them to sit still and smile for a decent family photo can.
With their behavior towards cameras and photoshoots, any dreams of turning them into future child models may be the furthest from your mind. But there are ways of coaxing them and turning them into angels, at least on paper. Here are a few reasons why kids are uncooperative with few tips on how to get the best photos without pulling your hair out.
1. Kids think of it as a neverending chore
As parents, we want to capture every single moment of our kid’s lives, to a point that we make promises that we don’t keep. Admit it, how many times have you said, “just one more shot” to your child?
Professional photographers are not the only ones guilty of this crime as even parents armed with a point and shoot have done this before. When taking photographs of your children, you need to see them as professionals.
You don’t need to pay them for their time as a professional photographer or a modeling agency for kids would. But do value their time.
When you say you need them for 20 minutes, stick to it. Once it goes off, stop the shoot regardless of whether you feel you got the perfect shot or not.
You may not get the perfect shot, but you will gradually obtain your kid’s trust. At some point, they won’t think of having their pictures taken as a tedious chore that never ends.
2. They feel bored and uninterested
Explain the purpose of the shoot, especially for shoots that may take a long time to complete, such as a family portrait, for a modeling company or if you want to build your portfolio. By giving them details, you are setting their expectations.
Make the shoot fun for them. Pique your kid’s interest by getting them involved in the planning process if you can.
Show them pictures of where you would like to have the shoot but be open for ideas. You would be surprised with the ideas that they can come up with.
Given that kids cannot sit still as long as adults do, your schedule has to stay flexible. Allocate some time for them to run around and play if the shoot is expected to last for several hours. Bring some snacks and games so they won’t feel bored or start having tantrums.
3. Kids feel uncomfortable
Imagine going to a place where you know no one, and you have to wear tight-fitting, chaffing clothes for hours. Some people may enjoy dressing up and going to formal events, but most kids don’t. As such, don’t expect your kids to enjoy formal shoots.
Unless you are doing a formal family portrait or something similar, let your kids wear comfortable clothes. For creative shoots, you can get a prop or two and let them play.
Kids can get creative once they feel comfortable. You may get some unique shots if you just let them be themselves.
Avoid posing your kids as it tends to look unnatural on a photograph. Instead, shoot them while they are busy doing something such as playing ball, jumping in a puddle, or petting the family dog. These may seem like simple everyday activities, but they make great images.
Childhood is short and fleeting. Enjoy being with your kids while you still can. This means not grabbing the camera at every given moment.
Yes, this means you will miss some incredible shots. But it is also essential that you be there for your kids and family. By striving for a balance and letting them be kids, you are more likely to get great shots of your children than when you treat them as professional models.
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.