Those of you who know me, know that I love working with children, and taking children’s portraits. I love capturing their energy, and innocence, it speaks volumes when reflected in a portrait.
However, all of that boundless energy can distract a child, and it can be difficult to gain their attention to achieve the best photograph.
I have listed by top five distraction techniques that will focus your child’s energy into the photography, whilst still having fun.
1. Props.
Over the years, I have collected a chest full of wonderful props and costumes for children, which I often bring to the child’s portrait shoot. Sometimes, the best photos captured are the ones of your little ones scavenging looking for the best toys. However, sometimes I suggest, that if your children have a specific toy that they are connected to, then bring that along, as it may make them feel more comfortable and settled.
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2. Activities.
Activities will have the same effect as props, but make for more action shots. Children associate with activities and will want to show everyone how to play them. This will create beautiful and natural portraits of the interaction between you and your child.
3. Use the Camera.
To distract the child, and to make them feel comfortable and involved in the children’s portrait shoot, I often let them play with my camera, and show them the images. This makes them feel that they are involved and have an input. It also gives them a sense of responsibility as they have a perspective that only adults are allowed to touch the camera. I often bring two cameras, and capture the children looking back on their photos. It creates a beautiful sense of wonderment.
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4.    Parents.
Placing a child in front of a camera and hoping for the best will create awkward photography. The child will feel uncomfortable and may become stressed and upset. I often ask the parents to stand behind the camera, distracting them with funny faces or dancing. This will ensure that they look towards the camera, and have a beautiful, natural smile on their face.
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5.    Trust the older siblings.
Of all the distraction techniques, this is my favourite. If it is a sibling photo shoot, let the older children take the lead. This will give them more responsibility, but will also provide them with a chance to spend quality time with their younger brother or sister. The child will react and it will create stunning portraits of your children together, laughing and joking. Let’s be honest, how often does that happen?
Kim Rix Photography
Making Memories Precious