Anyone heard the saying ‘never work with children or animals’? If you’ve worked with either, you’ll know why.
I regularly work with the former, my children and it’s definitely ‘fun’ trying to get certain shots. Even on holiday or in normal family life away from the blog capturing a family picture can be impossible, so what if you want to try and get a shot for a special picture or indeed your blog?
Here is what I have learnt over the last 18 months – 2 years.
1) Be prepared and plan your shoot
ALWAYS be prepared and plan what you want to do. We all know there is a short time frame with all kids for food, games, anything. Taking a picture will probably give you even less time so you don’t want to be running around looking for a hair band or a teddy.
If I have a shot in mind I will have everything I can anticipate I’ll need ready and waiting to go.
2) Plan the time around when they’re the happiest
As with everything with little ones, the times of the day where they are their happiest (usually after food and sleep) is the easiest time to do something with them. In the Winter this will take a little bit more planning as daylight hours are short so I find I usually have a small window of time to get things done.
3) Find something to keep them distracted
This is so important with Evie our 20-month-old. She has a VERY short attention span so I always try and get something to distract her. If we’re outside it might be Daddy or my Mum saying funny things or if I’m on my own and inside nursery rhymes on Youtube usually gets her to stop for more than 1 second.
4) Make it a game
Amelie and Evie love the shots where we have a game invented around what we’re doing. It might be a tea party set up or something Amelie can help me create but either way if they can be involved and have fun it really helps.
5) Take more than one shot in one shoot
If I am going to get the girls to help me with photos I’ll try and get more than one ‘shoot’ done at once. We might combine it with a video or a different shoot with a change of outfit, but if I have gone to the effort of moving furniture (I do this a lot) I try and only do it once.
6) Find something that they’ll want to do. i.e. Amelie will ALWAYS want to dress as a Princess so this is a sure way for her to enjoy the photos
Amelie is getting to be a bit of a creative director in that she tells me what to do and gives me ideas. If I incorporate her (sometimes amazing) ideas into a shoot or let her do her own shoots with me and Evie afterwards we all have loads more fun! (There are some amazingly hilarious photos of me on my camera that Amelie has taken, I’m usually holding a teddy) 🙂
7) If they don’t want to do it or they’re not in the mood, stop and try again another time
If either of them isn’t in the mood, they don’t want to have a picture or it’s all just not working I stop, leave it and try again another day. The last thing I want to do is make it stressful, it should be fun so I always leave time to drop it and try again another day. Outdoor shots are a lot easier for this as they can be running away and it’s OK!
8) Use the easier child
You’ll notice more of Amelie on my feed at the moment because she wants to be involved and is happy to help me and give me ideas. Evie just wants to play so I invent ideas and content that can be just me and Amelie.
9) Use a reward
I have been known the offer a chocolate button afterwards, but more often than not if we’re out we’ll have a quick photo, then I’ll put the camera away and we’ll do something fun that they want to do.
10) Be in the picture
You’ll see me more in my Instagram feed, with them and on my own because it’s much more fun to do things together!
Do you enjoy taking pictures of your children? Do you find it hard?
For the rest of the series: