Tips - Children Portraits
In definition, a portrait is an artistic representation whose purpose is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the subject. In photography, a portrait is generally a composed image of a person in a still position, looking directly at the artist in order to most successfully engage the subject with the audience.
Portrait photography is a popular industry all over the world that grows very rapidly especially with the technology gaining more access, and dramatically cutting down the cost of labor & material.
Many people enjoy having professionally made family portraits, kid's portraits, special event portraits, and even their pet's portraits. Graduation and wedding photography got so big in the last decade that, it even has its own market besides regular practices of photography.
In politics, portraits of the leader are often used during the campaigns, becoming of a symbol of what the party represents. In most countries it is common protocol for a portrait of the founder's, former presidents', or leaders' portraits to appear on the paper currency, stamps, and even on the walls of important government buildings.
Babies, Toddlers, and Young Children
Babies and young kids are cute by nature. One could not make them look bad even with intention. But, there are some quick tips to make the photo shoot a definite success with happy results.
The most important of all is choosing a photographer who likes children, and knows how to instruct them during the shoot.
When you are booking your session with me, I always ask you simple questions like how many months, or how old the child is. This might sound awkward at first, but different age group has different span of attention time. The age gives me a starting point to shape the length and nature of the shoot.
For small babies, and young children it always helps to discuss with your photographer what are the favorite toys, items, music, etc. your child likes. If they have a favorite bear, or a doll bring it with you! If they have a security blanket, please DO let me know and bring it with you!
I usually start taking the photos of a child with their favorite item first. That loosens them up, and gives us enough time to warm up to each other. Usually the best smiles are captured when they are running after their toy, or hiding under their cute little blanket with a few peek-a-boo intervals.
Using little props work great with little kids, so does a squeaky toy. However, if your child is afraid of hairy animals, or loud noises this is something you should inform me before-hand.
Another important thing is the time of your session. If your child is used to taking a nap at noon, PLEASE let me know, and do not book it around that time! Usually early afternoon hours are when most young children are alert, and ready for action. However, if you know your child has a different peak time, then book your session within that window.
Bringing extra set of clothes works with some children, however, may not work with your particular child. Since you know your child best, communicate with me before the shoot, and tell me what your expectation is. That way I can give you suggestions on what to dress-in, or bring with you.
Please be patient with the photographer and your child. If they are getting cranky and bored, we can take a little break. Most babies & toddlers would do better if you book several short photo sessions. 20-30min at a time is usually their maximum time of good performance at each session.
Children and Youth
Most of the guidelines from adults and young children still apply to this group.
*Getting a good sleep the night before,
*Having a good breakfast, or a filling lunch prior to your session.
*Not to consume sugar or caffeine before your photo shoot,
*Bringing the child's favorite music, toys, accessory, and plenty of snacks just in case.
There are a few extra things that would also help to secure getting a set of quality images whether it is for family portraits, your child's first homecoming dance, yearbook, or to be submitted with a casting agent.
The headshot for children and youth is not as complicated as it is for adults. The main goal is to get well-lit, soft, clean cut images that is warm, and smiley.
It is important to have a variety of shots, so the Zed-Card, or the photo package you are buying for the grandparents will have a variety of looks and poses.
Most agents demand, I always suggest getting a new shot every six months because they grow very quick. Their hair, height, weight, as well as facial features changes and matures very rapidly. Just look at your child's photos from last years, you will see what I mean.
It is always a good idea to stick with a photographer who gets on well with your child, and does a good work with them. Many photographers including myself would have discount prices on kid's re-shoot headshots, and kid's portrait packages. This is not because children are easier to shoot, but because it has to be repeated so often.
If you follow through most of these rules, and prepare your child for the shoot, there should not be any reason's left for cries, or stress. Whether you want timeless memories of your child or trying to create a good carrier for them, the most important thing is to avoid stressful situations. Keep your child in mind, and I will do my best for a fun, successful shoot!