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Children portrait photography guide

For sure, there is one thing we can all agree when talking about children: they are lovely but challenging. Crying, unpredictable, funny, almost magical: children can truly be everything they want and we will continue to love them. So how to manage children portrait photography session and create some great portraits of them?

black and white children portrait photography London UK

Moreover, while we watch them grow up we want also to freeze those precious moments in time. That is why we appeal to the art of photography and its ability to keep in time precisely that requested moment. Anyway, when we try to take some pictures of our kids they seem to rebel and they do not want to do it, or sometimes they just start to make funny faces, or, they just run away from our camera.

Well, we are not saying that for a professional children photographer it is any different. As we were saying at the beginning, children are unpredictable. Moreover, they are also challenging. The true stimulating part of the work of a photographer is getting to the heart of the kids and let them entertain themselves while capturing their laughing faces. There is nothing more rewarding than a happy child: we become children again, and we forgot our adult self.

London children portrait photography little girl black and white portrait dirty face

Nevertheless, why is children portrait photography so compelling and what could possibly go wrong?

Well, as we were anticipating, there are a lot of things that can wrong! If you decide to spend the day out with your kid and to do a photo shoot, the photographer will have the responsibility to make your kid comfortable, to entertain him or her and to let your child be happy and light-hearted. That’s not a thing that you can decide in the morning! Sometimes it happens that children do not like to be portrayed. Sometimes they are simply scared of all the attention reversed on them. One suggestion to let things go smoothly, it is to let the photoshoot become a game, like an exciting adventure for all. 

child portrait on the grass

The second point is the parents’ expectations. Some parents, when they see the final result, are disappointed, they do not like the composition or the expression of their children. There’s a lot at stake with children portrait photography, but the most important thing is that the child needs to be happy and cheerful. Children need to enjoy the moment. So, even if you, as a parent, imagined a completely different scenario, even if you expected some traditional and serious portrait and then you find out that you have a crazy and creative picture, or vice-versa, never mind, those in the picture will always be your beautiful children. So, do not be overwhelmed by expectations and let the creativity between the photographer and your kid flow: you will be amazed by the result!

black and white child portrait of blond little girl smiling

Of course, there are also some technical aspects: the photographer needs the right lenses, the right camera, needs to know if you want an indoor or outdoor portrait, if you like action or still picture and so on. Therefore, before starting the photo shoot, parents and photographer need to meet and discuss some simple technical aspects such as the ones quoted before. Well, you do not need to learn everything about lenses, just need to decide if you prefer in or out, close portrait or landscape. 

London children portrait photography a girl is smelling a daisy flower in the park

Everything else will be on the shoulder of the children photographer.

As you may know, children portrait photography developed a lot in recent years, thanks also to the technology improvements of cameras, lights and settings. That is also one of the reasons beyond the great success of children photography. The possibility to create fairytales settings, to open up the camera shutter and capture every movement of light: all of this is something that just a few years ago was very difficult to create and now it seems within everyone’s reach. 

little baby portrait indoor

Well, it seems. Because photography is still an art, and also children portrait photography can be considered an art. A good photographer needs to know all the different characteristics of photography, such as digital, traditional, camera settings, black and white, lights, focus and on and on to reach the perfect result with children. We say with children because of the difficulty of shooting the right picture increases with children, because, as you can imagine, they will not do what we will tell them to do during the shooting. 

child portrait of little girl with cornflower wreath on her head family photography London

Whatever you choose, traditional photographs developed in the darkroom or digital photos in jpeg, they will be slightly retouched (especially the digital ones) to reach the best possible result. So do not be afraid of the world of digital photography and editing, it is just another development of this great art. If a professional photographer masters it, bits of editing will enhance your child’s portrait. 

black and white children portrait of little girl with two ponytails

Another technical aspect that you can choose as a parent is the kind of story you want to tell: do you prefer just some simple and disconnected photos or do you want a sequence of pictures linked together? There’s nothing wrong or right in either of these two kinds of photo shooting. In both cases, you can let the creativity flow and engage children in games and adventures in front of the camera. 

boy is smiling to the camera in the park in London children portrait photography

To conclude, it is worth saying that children photography is one of the most compelling and rewarding kinds of photography. Thanks to its versatility, its constantly changing of rules, its gaming quality and above all thanks to those innocent smile that shines in front of the lens, children portrait photography will always be a great form of art and a challenge to all photographers. As parents instead, you just need to relax and enjoy, year after year, your children’ photos and special moments.

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