Last week, we asked on Facebook, what questions you have about taking better photos of your kids. This week, we’ll answer Pam’s Question: “Everything! How to get four boys ready for a photo”.
The everything might take a little more room than we in one post, but I’ll give you as much information as I can about getting multiple kids ready for a photo!
The first thing you need to decide is what is the purpose of the image?
If you’re just wanting to document moments that you’re spending with your kids or grand kids, the best thing to do is keep your camera handy, so that it’s there when they start doing something memorable or “cute” that you want to capture. I leave our small camera out on a shelf by my kid’s playroom, so that it’s always handy. I will also throw it in my purse if we’re going out to a park or something.
It’s perfect for capturing images like this:
If you’re wanting to capture a “portrait” of them, where they’re all looking at the camera and it’s “print worthy”, that takes a little more planning. Start by picking a time and place to do the photos. If you’re outside, pick a spot with light shade and an nice background. If you’re inside, try to remove the clutter from the background. Take the time to think about clothes and how cohesive you want the photograph to be. Something as simple as getting everyone into jeans and a plain coloured shirt can make all the difference!
Now the tricky part, getting them to all look at the camera. When Eric and I are working with kids, we often send the parents out of the room. While I’m photographing, Eric’s job is to get their attention. He does this by being silly, making faces, sometimes even playing hide and seek behind me. It’s all about getting expression! (At times, we switch this up and Eric will be behind the camera and I’ll be getting their attention!) There are two reasons that we send the parents out of the room. 1 – Kids will often behave better for a complete stranger than they will for their parents. I don’t know why, it just seems to be the case. 2 – It cuts down distractions. If you have 3 people all trying to get the kids to smile and “behave” you’ll usually end up with the kids all looking in several different directions and doing everything but behaving!
If you have one person focused on taking the photograph and one person being silly to get their attention, you’re bound to get a couple of great images. The biggest tip – Be QUICK! Most young kids do not like to sit still for long. The faster you get them into the spot that you want, take the images that you want and tell them you’re done, the better.
All that being said, sometimes the best thing you can do is set up the portrait and then just let them be them. You’ll end up with something like this.