1. Get to know your child
Before taking your child’s photo, ask them what they like and what they don’t like. This is the most important question to ask them, as it’s the most important thing to keep in mind when taking pictures. Your child will have an opinion on the way they want to look in a picture and may even say things like “I hate my nose,” or “I don’t want people to see my freckles.” Knowing your child’s likes and dislikes will help you to plan an appropriate session.
2. Try natural light
If possible, try shooting in natural light during the day. There are advantages to this: you can use natural light because it’s already there. The light is softer, brighter and more flattering, as the shadows tend to be much less pronounced. The downside is that there isn’t much light to work with during the day, so it might be harder to get the best pictures. If you decide to shoot in natural light, plan your sessions for early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky, the light is softer and it’s easier to balance natural light against flash. Also try not to shoot at noon or 6 p.m., as your children will be squinting due to the light.
3. Shoot in portrait format
Many people think that a portrait is something of a stiff, formal pose. However, if you want to get the most out of your session, it’s important that your child looks relaxed and comfortable. Try shooting in portrait format. This is where the child is positioned in a natural and relaxed position. You may find it helpful to ask your child what they like or don’t like.
4. Ask permission
Before taking pictures, ask your child for permission, make sure you have the correct understanding of how you are going to use their photos. This will help prevent any unnecessary confusion. Many parents mistakenly think they can use their children’s photos for any purpose they want without getting permission.
5. Let them decide
It’s important to let your child decide how they feel about having their photo taken. Some children don’t like being told what to do, especially if you’re in charge, so if your child is reluctant to have their picture taken, be patient. You could try asking if they would like you to take their photo with you. If not, you could wait until they are more relaxed and then gently ask them if you can take their picture without their parent’s consent. It’s good practice for the future too, because it shows your child that you can stand up for yourself.
6. Be a good model
When you’re shooting, make sure you look at the camera and hold yourself properly. Take a few minutes to get into position before taking your child’s photo. Don’t make any sudden movements or move from side to side. If your child is younger, show them how to hold themselves in a way that looks good. Children who are younger than 4 years old will need a lot of help with this. If you’re having difficulty showing them how to pose, ask a friend to help. Also make sure that your child has something they are interested in: a favourite toy, an item of clothing, or a book.
7. Make sure you have permission
It’s important to remember that you need to get your parent’s permission to take pictures of your child. Some parents aren’t too keen on this, so it’s a good idea to ask them in advance if you need to take photos.
8. Take lots of pictures
Taking lots of photos will help you capture the moment, rather than the one pose. Try to shoot in bursts, taking more than one shot in the same pose.
9. Ask your child questions
After the photo session is over, try asking your child some questions. Why did they want their photo taken? What do they like about their new picture?
10. Create memories
Taking photos is great fun and it’s great to look back at them a few years later and see how much your child has changed. If your children don’t have a photo album, they can always use Facebook or Snapchat to share their photos with family and friends.
11. Get the right light.
You will often be shooting under artificial lighting, which can make your subject appear flat and uninteresting. Try to avoid having your subject facing the sun as it can lead to shadows under their eyes and may make them appear sickly. Instead, try photographing during the day when the light is natural and not harsh. Alternatively, use a tripod to stabilize the camera and shoot with a slow shutter speed which will blur out any movement.
12. Keep your subjects engaged.
It’s always important to engage with your subject in order to make a good photograph. To do this, ask questions about their hobbies, what they enjoy doing, or if there is something in particular that they would like to see in the photograph. This will ensure that your subject feels comfortable in front of the camera. They will also be more likely to stay still, smile and look at you.
13. Use a wide-angle lens.
A wide-angle lens will allow you to include much more of your subject into the frame. This can make a big difference when taking a photograph of a teenager as it will add more interest and variety to the image. Try shooting with a wide angle lens that takes in the environment around your teen, as well as their face.
14. Focus on the eyes.
Make sure that your teen’s eyes are the main focus of the photograph. If the eyes are not sharp, it can be very distracting for your viewer. It’s also important to ensure that there is enough distance between you and your teen. The further you get away from your subject, the larger and more interesting the background appears.
15. Ask permission.
It’s important to ask permission before you take photographs of a teenager. Make sure that you get their parents’ consent first. You will need permission from the child themselves too, if they are over the age of 13. This is to avoid any issues of harassment or exploitation.
16. Keep your camera steady.
When taking photographs of a teenager, it is important to keep the camera still. We recommend using a tripod to help with this. If you are taking photos in a moving car, it’s important to turn on the GPS on your phone to ensure that you get an accurate fix for the location.
17. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
You may be nervous about taking photographs of a teenager as you don’t want to look back at the pictures and cringe at how amateurish they appear. However, you can take comfort in the fact that a good photograph does not have to be perfect. Instead, it can be a personal record of your experiences with the teen.
18. Use filters.
Filters can help add interest to a photo of a teenager. It’s also a great way to make images appear more unique. Try using one of the many filters available on your phone, or an app that has been specifically designed for smartphone photography.
19. Try using a polarizing filter.
Polarizers can be used to brighten up a photograph of a teenager and prevent reflections. Try using them when you are photographing in low-light environments.
In conclusion, the best way to improve your photography skills is to keep practicing. You’ll find that you’ll improve with every photo you take, but it takes time. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great photos.
You just need to keep at it and be patient.
The tips in this article were written for teens photography. But they are also applicable to all types of photography.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions, please let me know.