We talk a lot about photographing twins and siblings but photographing only children is a whole other story. The tricks that work when there’s more than one child man not work on only children – so you need a whole different plan of action up your sleeve. Luckily, we’re here to help:
When you photograph more than one child at a time they are often interacting, creating great images. With an only child, you’ll need to find a different type of interaction. You can start with some type of activity that they enjoy: painting, sports, digging in the dirt, whatever they enjoy that will keep them busy for 30 minutes or more.
Include a few colorful props – they’ll help pull your photo together. You also can capture your child at other activities: homework, watching a movie, eating a snack. Any chance you have to capture your kid doing something it will let you get some candid photos.
Some only children can be a bit introverted, so it can help to get them involved when you’re planning a photo shoot. Letting them make decisions can help to bring them out of their shells and help them feel a bit more enthusiastic about the prospect of being in front of the camera.
You can start by planning a list of locations and sit down with your child to decide which one is the best choice. Make three choices, in order of preference, with at least one indoor location in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Then have them help you pick out a few outfits (again, plan for different temperatures).
Your photo shoot with your only child will be so much more successful if you start with a lot of light – as this will help you experiment with different shutter speeds and apertures. Look for indoor places with large windows, or outdoor spaces with diffused light (such as in the trees or on an overcast day).
When you’re trying to corral a few kids you might not have the time or patience to test out something that may take a few different tries, but with one child you’ll likely be able to manage. Try new places, new camera settings, different types of poses and perspectives. They might not all work, but you’ll have fun working on it together.
Working on a hobby together is a great way to get only kids to open up – so why not try photography? You can hand over your camera when you’re done with the photo shoot and let them have a turn, take a class together, or see if you can find a photography camp in your area. Above all, keep having fun together as he or she grows older and capture some of those moments on camera.