14 May 2015

My secrets to getting your little one to look at the camera!

The other day I was talking to one of the mums from my photography workshop and she was telling me that although she now has all of the technical skills to take great pictures of her 18 month old son, she can't for love nor money get him looking at the camera, not to mention actually smiling at it.

So today I thought I'd share a few of my secrets to capturing your little one looking at, and interacting with the camera. But before I start, I'll tell you what I told her, which is, more often than not a perfect portrait needn't have your little one looking at and smiling at the camera every time. In fact some of my absolute favourite portraits are of children playing, laughing, contemplating, and basically being children.

Understandably though, her reply was that whilst she agrees, she'd like one or two of the typical 'smiling at the camera' type of pictures to send to grandma and grandpa, so below are the technique that I use for each and every one of my photography sessions with little ones. 

1. Don't say smile! Saying smile has the exact opposite effect to the one you are after - either you have a well trained child who then pulls out his best, chandler from friends type of fake smile, or more likely your child completely ignores you and buries his head even further into what ever super interesting task he was already doing.

2. Be interesting! Children are naturally inquisitive, so if you tell them you have something unbelievably exciting or interesting to show them they.can.not.help.but.look!

'wow look what I've got'
'Oh my goodness a huge ant'
'Do you want me to tell you a secret'

These are all sure fire ways to at the very least get your little one to look at the camera - which you have already positioned and ready to snap away as soon as they look.

3. Follow through with what you've just told them - point to where the *imaginary* ant just disappeared to, tell them a secret or a joke, give them the sweetie that you've got hidden in your hand - because when you want them to look the next time you want them to believe you, otherwise that trick just turns in to another 'smile' type prompt.

4. Smile at them! People mirror people and this is no different when it comes to children, if you smile and laugh at your little one they'll almost always smile back!

5. Play peek-a-boo! Children love this and always smile and look right at you so have your camera ready!

6. Ask them to pull a funny face for the camera! This works especially well for slightly older children, and although you don't want to take lots of photographs of the funny faces necessarily, there will be lots of laughs in between which is exactly what you want to capture.

7. Show them the picture! This keeps them interested and makes them want to pull an even funnier face next time, hence more smiles.

8. Ask them to show you what they have - this one usually works at getting them to look at you (the camera) but quite often it comes with a conversation and funny face ;)

9. Be. Patient. - Getting stressed out and desperate for the picture will absolutely NEVER help the situation, so take your time, relax and enjoy spending time with your little one, they will smile at the camera when they are relaxed and having fun.

Well thats it, I told you it was simple, but very very effective! Give these ideas a try next time you're taking photos of your little one and let me know how you get on. Was this helpful? If not why not? Maybe you're struggling with something else photography related, if so leave your question in the comments below or drop me an email and I'll try and cover your problem next time :)

Happy photographing,

Lianne xox

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home