Kid Photography Tips from Bright Umbrella Photography!

9:53 AM
I'm so pleased to have a wonderful guest today here on my blog. Her name is Amy Moore of Bright Umbrella Photography. She specializes in child and family photography. Her photojournalistic style is bright and fresh and she has some great tips for taking amazing pictures of kids. Take a look at some of her work:

Beautiful, right? Yeah, she knows what she's talking about! Read up...

Photographing Kids

Photographing kids is where my heart is at. I love making a connection with a child at my session through my lens. Children are pure, unpredictable and uninhibited and photographing them is always a new challenge for me.

Don't Over Think It
My approach is really to not over think the session too much before hand. A typically happy child could be in a foul mood the day you show up for the shoot. You just never know what personality or mood you'll be dealing with that day, so in general, I just go with the flow. I try to keep the location simple (more on that later), with minimal distractions. I might think ahead to bring a few props but I don't crazy with those because I want the focus on the kids and not the stuff around them.

Breaking the Ice
Each and every child I photograph is truly unique and different, but the way I introduce myself and address the child really sets the tone for our session. Taking a cue from the show, Super Nanny (great for tips on interacting with kids) - I always get down on a child's eye level to introduce myself, rather than being this intimidating adult bending over them talking down to them. I do this with kids as young as two, tell them my name and ask them to tell me their name or how old they are. It gets the conversation going. Little boys crack me up, they're generally pretty playful. I had one young guy, about 3 years old, tell me his name was Blue Dragon (of course it wasn't) but the whole shoot I called him by the name Blue Dragon, I got some of the best shots of him smiling "naturally" and laughing every time I addressed him by the name "Blue Dragon". Needless to say...we bonded and his images reflected that.

Location, Location
I don't have a studio, so my sessions are either on-location or at the clients home. On location shoots, I have learned it is best to think ahead for the potential distractions that will disengage the child from the session. Case in point, one client wanted to have her set of two year olds session at a garden in a local park. Great, it will be perfect, I can see it now. Wrong. What I didn't realize, because I had not been to the park before hand, was this beautiful garden sits directly across from a huge playground. Needless to say, no amount of conversation from me was going to keep these two years olds from a screaming fit to play on the playground in their perfectly white frilly dresses.

So we relented, the mom and I changed them into some play clothes. Let them get it out of their system and then changed back into the dress clothes. Yes, now they're dirty and their hair was a mess. Poor planning? Yes. It all could have been avoided had I checked out the suggested location first. Lesson learned. 

Keep Kids Engaged
I naturally talk a lot, to anyone that will listen.  When I'm first introduced to a child, if we are at they're home, I'm given a tour. They show me they're room, we start talking about their toys, the books they have on their shelf, we talk about mommy and daddy, pretty much whatever they want to keep them interacting with me and getting more comfortable.  Once we've gotten on a comfort level with each other - I'll just keep the conversation going. I don't force them to look at me and I never ask kids to smile. Hence, we try to avoid the "say cheese" grin.

 Thank you, Amy! To see more of Amy's images check out her website, her blog or follow her on Facebook. You are sure to be inspired. 

There is still time to vote on all the kid entries for Photoberfest!
To VOTE on the entries click here.
Tune in tomorrow to find out the winner.


organizedchaos said...

Great tips! And I adore Super Nanny!! I generally always get down to my son's level especially when discipline comes into play as they listen to you better, so I should be taking a cue to do that all the time in every situation. Thank you for posting these :) It's so hard to keep the parents away and stop them from telling them to say cheese...any tips for that???

Altax said...

Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

Kids Resources

Amy said...

@OrganizedChaos - I'm glad you found the tips helpful! Keeping the parents away was actually something I wanted to talk. I could do a whole post on just handling parents! ;) I'll have to save that for a part II if Katie has me back. But one quick tip is that I politely tell the parents it's best if only the child and I are conversing and for them to not give the kids to many instruction. That might sound harsh but I say it really kind and most parents are thinking "she's the expert" so they do what I say too. ;)

Altax said...

Cute kids and excellent shots!!!

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