It’s all well and good to learn how to create good kid’s portrait photos, but at some point you’re going to want to step up and create great portraits. So how does one accomplish that? We have some simple, straightforward and easy tips:
Taking photos from “kid level” is pretty standards, which is why, after a while, it gets a bit boring. You can jazz up your kid’s portrait photos by altering your perspective: either by being down on the ground, looking up (or on the ground with your child up on stairs or a playground) or by being up above and looking down.
While the rule of thirds is a really important composition rule that helps you to create interesting kid’s portrait photos, it’s easy to get “stuck” using it. Although human faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical, you can try a photo with your child dead center. Alternatively, if they are in a setting that is reasonably symmetrical (walking down a path or pier, sitting on stairs or the top of a slide) try putting them in the center for a harmonious photo.
You can create stunning child portrait photos with direct eye contact, but that’s not the only method for portraits with the “wow” factor. You can add a sense of mystery by having your subject look just over your shoulder, off into the distance, or take a portrait with them facing away from to with their head turned slightly to the left or right. Another fun shot is to put something in their hand, such as a flower, and take the portrait from slightly above them, looking down, with your child looking at their hands.
You’d be surprised at how many child photographers choose to play it safe when it comes to color – sticking to pastels, solids, and primary hues. Adding color can make your child portrait pop; whether it’s something they are wearing or an interesting background or prop. Try it!
This one is less about shooting and more about presentation. If you’re been using burst mode (continuous shooting), then you’re probably used to going home, reviewing your photos, and choosing the “best” to print, share, or hang. Instead, create a series. Either choose a few photos from your shoot, select 3-5 of the best portraits from the session, or a few fun photos of your child that fits a theme (such as dress up, playing sports, exploring, etc.).
Undoubtedly your child is super cute, and you want to get up close and personal for those unforgettable child portraits. However, the “in your face” style of photography might not work for some children and might be preventing you from getting truly memorable child photos. If you are able, back off a few steps, more if you have a telephoto lens, so you can capture authentic facial expressions.
So, here are a few suggestions to get you started, come back next week for more!