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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

6 tricks for photographing goofy kids

Poof! Kids reach a certain age and suddenly don't want to be photographed. They hide from the camera, they sulk, they goof around when you tell them to smile. But! My photographer friend Alpha has figured out ways to get her adorable (and spirited!) niece to interact with the camera. As part of a three-part photography series sponsored by Canon, Alpha agreed to share six handy tips for photographing older children...
1. Let them jump on the bed or couch! They love seeing photos where they're suspended in air.
2. Dancing always helps them loosen up. Doing the twist adds cute movement, and ballerina spins are fun, too.
3. Sometimes silly faces are exactly how you want to remember their personality. Stick to the more charming ones—monkey and fish faces are usually pretty cute.
4. Give them confetti. You'll get real expressions if they're truly enjoying themselves. Bubbles are messy but do the trick, too.
5. Use props—like a disco ball or favorite dress-up hat. Props will make them pause and you can capture quieter moments that way.
6. Ask them to look out the window and tell you what they see. Plus, the natural light will be beautiful.
Bonus: Eventually all the activity will wear them out, and they'll be happy to sit in one spot for you!

Thank you so much, Alpha!

P.S. Six tips for photographing your toddler.

(This post was sponsored by Canon as part of a three-post series about photographing kids. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible. Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Adorable daughter by Kendra Smoot:)

42 comments:

Sydney said...

Lovely pictures...and model!

branielle said...

I love the contrast between her delicate dress and that well worn band-aid!

Florence (Flossie Teacakes) said...

I love that the little girl has a plaster on her knee in these photos - it stops them looking too polished and they feel wonderfully 'real' and full of personality.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Those eyes !!
I too love the bandaide on the knee :)
Living in a house full of photographers and models, we all ended up just running amok every time we saw a camera .. actually we still do lol

jm said...

So cute!

sumslay said...

Love these! However, I'm preeeeetty sure these girls couldn't take a bad picture - they're both gorgeous!

Rachel B.C. said...

This is so helpful -- thanks for posting! I would never have thought of these strategies on my own.. can't wait to try 'em out!

Jenn @ WLB said...

I love how these pictures came out. What a cute girl!

Rachel said...

Whose hand is that in the last photo!? It's like Kristin Wiig on SNL's Lawrence Welk Show?

Kahkasan Akhi said...

Beautiful Photographs!

K. Akhi
http://intensepursuits.com

Yılmaz Kaba said...

I love that the little girl has a plaster on her knee in these photos - it stops them looking too polished and they feel wonderfully 'real' and full of personality.Love these! However, I'm preeeeetty sure these girls couldn't take a bad picture - they're both gorgeous!World Travel Guide 2013I love the contrast between her delicate dress and that well worn band-aid!Whose hand is that in the last photo!? It's like Kristin Wiig on SNL's Lawrence Welk Show?

CKP said...

These are awesome! Sometimes I get so lost on how to grab kiddos attention and make them shine through photographs at the same time. I love the first image of her with the disco ball.

Lauren Knight said...

Such great tips! I often have trouble getting my almost-six-year-old to take portraits, where my 3 and 1-year-old are so much easier. These tips sound perfect!

jm said...

Good tips. Jumping on the bed is a great idea

Michelle Panting said...

Great tips! Those girls have such amazing eyes.

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com/

días de trajín said...

Thank you so much. My daughter is now 7 years old, and she is just at the age she hates be photographed. So next time, I will use your tips.

Found-Food said...

This is cute but as a children's photographer myself, I think this added no useful technical substance to the art of photographing children. Talking about light, shutter speed and texture would be useful.

Amanda said...

Awwww, this is cute. I saw a dad taking super cute pictures of his daughter (probably 6 or 7) this morning while I was jogging and she had the cutest crazy sunglasses on and was doing super silly poses.

Rachael said...

So helpful as my 8 year old pulls the same'fake' smile if asked to pose and it looks so awkward and not at ALL a reflection of his personality! Loving these tips.x

http://sandersonsmithstory.blogspot.co.uk/

Jana Miller said...

Great article with lots of photo tip that I've never read before :)
Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering

j loves j said...

Super cute!
http://jessielovesjake.blogspot.co.nz/

Lexie said...

I hope you move onto how to photograph 12-14 year olds... I teach sixth grade, and I can NOT get a flattering picture of any of my students!

Julia Fain said...

Ohhh I like this! Our kids are hard to photograph (so often we go for a "journalistic" style...) saving for later! xo julia

Amy P said...

I think this was really helpful for the average parent/friend-of-small-kids: most of us are not professionally photographing our kids every day and don't need to fiddle with texture/aperture/shutter speed - we just need to know how to get them to cooperate long enough so we can get something, anything!
These photos are beautiful.

McKenzie said...

These are really great photos! Such cute ideas! I love in-the-moment shots, and the ones that show personality! They are always the best :)

http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

Jordan Shaner said...

Wow such a good tutorial and beautiful pictures too! Those pictures are so sweet!!

xx

http://thattallgirlinheels.com

Larkspur Company said...

Very sweet. My niece is nearly three and already is not a fan of getting her photo taken. I think the ones by the window are especially beautiful--I think I can trick her into that!

xxo,
Annie, Larkspur Company

larkspurcompany.com

KT said...

Great post!! I'm dreaming about being a prof.photographer one day and these tips will help me while practising. It's easy to take pictures of my own children but photographing someone elses kids is bit trickier!! :)

Cheryl said...

Beautiful shots, and tips!!

S Beddoe said...

I think the trend of obsessively photographing children is something to be somewhat concerned about. A very interesting article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/are-we-raising-a-generation-of-self-conscious-narcissists/article4621215/

Meredith said...

I mean this in the most complimentary way possible--I love how British this comment is--"Flossy" "Teacakes" AND "plaster"! Makes me miss my London days :)

Lisa Pappalardo said...

These are such good tips!

xo Lisa
Making Life's Lemons

tamara said...

I would think photographing more introverted kids might be tough, even with these tips. Thinking back to myself at that age, there is NO WAY I would dance or jump on a bed or make animal faces while someone took my photo. (And yes, I am still really awkward in front of a camera now.)

Rochelle said...

This is the best! I have teen boys and they NEVER want their picture taken!

Karina Louise Photography said...

Another great post. Thank you! A Cup of Jo is definitely becoming one of my favorite blogs :)

www.KarinaLouise.com

preppyandfunny said...

Waw, such nice tricks! The pics turned out wonderful. XO

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

These are gorgeous! I have a teenage boy who runs as far from me as he can, when he sees my camera! I used to get annoyed that he'd always make a silly face in photos, when he was younger. But now when I look back at them, I'm so happy to have those snapshots of his real personality.

Clementine & Olive said...

This was the sweetest post ever... I'll probably try these all on my twins!

Monica | Hola!design said...

Good tips, I'm going to try them with my nieces! They never want to pose for pictures!

Tripped Up Family said...

These are good tips, but I'd love to see some tips for photographing kids with autism. We have triplets who are 4-1/2 and two have autism. I can't get a good one of the three of them together to save my life. And of course, getting smiles or getting looks at the camera is tough. They simply don't pose.

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The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

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