Fortunately, I’ve never had to photograph kids to make a living, but over the course of my almost fifty years as a professional photographer, I’ve had my share of advertising and corporate assignments where children of all ages were the end users for the company that made the products that fed them, clothes them, protected them, fixed them, and played with them; as a result I took the little darling’s pictures.
My approach was always to lower my thought process to their level and photograph them the way they wanted to be photograph. Whatever pose they had in mind is the pose I almost always went with. As I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet go with the flow. Don’t try to force an idea on them, because I can bear witness to the fact that it’s a good way to get them NOT to do what you want…just to spite you!!!
I’ve had many kids that wanted to be photographed with their pet. YIKES!!! I can tell you from many years of experience, as far as subject matter goes kids and animals are the two hardest to photograph…especially at the same time!! Forget about anything predictable (not a bad idea anyway) and again, let them dictate how they want to be photographed with their pet.
Another tip is to get down on their level. I’ve seen way too many photos where the photographer bent over and took the picture from their height.If you’re down where they are, it’s a lot more engaging and whatever direction you’re able to give them will work better “eye to eye”.
I’ve even gone to the extent of having them look in the viewfinder and let them take my picture first. You would be surprised on how often this works. Last but certainly not least, is to pay them. You would really be surprised with how often this works!
Finally, if you’re good enough you can direct them to do something that might look natural, but in reality the idea was conceived by you, the photographer.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.
The Los Angeles Center for Photogaphy is having me come out for a three day weekend intensive workshop beginning July 15th. The description is at the top under workshops. I’ll be making my presentation the evening of the 14th and is open to the public.
I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.