Let’s take a dive into when posing for kid photographers works and when it does not. So maybe you’re a fellow kid photographer or maybe you just enjoy reading my posts? Today we are going to dive into when posing works and when you should just leave the natural “play” and incorporate into the shot. As a kid photographer I understand when the best time to pose a child is and when you should use the “just let it flow” type of attitude.
When posing for kid photographers should work. It’s not fool proof though
As we know children are their “own breed”. They decide what they will be ok with and what they don’t want to put up with. I find that when posing for portraits you must be able to read their personality. If a child is a busy body, obviously posing this child probably isn’t going to be in your best interest. Get to know the child you are photographing. It really helps to understand the child. Whether it be a baby, toddler, pre-teen, or teenager. Some kids are better at following directions more so than others. That is totally ok! If you plan on posing a baby during their session, give them something fun and new to sit on. But take your shots quick as they lose their interest much quicker than other ages. Since it is something “new” they will always be happy to give it a quick try. The same can go for toddlers, but toddlers are more mobile than say a 6-month-old baby. However, you plan to pose the child make it quick and fun. Give them a cute vintage looking toy or stuffed animal to pose with. You don’t want to upset a small toddler or baby and expect them to be ready for the rest of the session. I suggest keeping It fun. Giving them a few quick things to do and taking some snaps. If they are naturally happy easily content children, then you can ask more of them. You can adjust their bodies how you want them to be for the shot and tell them to hold still for a quick few seconds. If they do reward them and tell them how amazing they are doing! All children respond well to positive reinforcement.
Posing just isn’t working, now what?
You’ve exhausted all of your options and all of the child’s patience. It’s time to move on from attempting the traditional posed portrait. We will move into more of a storytelling approach. This is honestly my favorite type if portrait! Unposed children in their natural element is what I love to incorporate in my photos. You tend to get more genuine faces and childhood moments. Of course, being a kid photographer, I strive for genuine moments to capture of childhood. To achieve that it is more about where you are going to let the child play. I pick places that are whimsical looking but safe for a child! Many of my sessions have taken place in an open field. Fields are my favorite place to photograph. I give them something to play with as I run around them taking shots. It is also fun and genuine when you introduce a child to a location they have never been to before. Let them explore! While they are exploring take shots. They won’t be worried about you taking photos of them. They are literally just living in the moment exploring, as children should. Some of my favorite locations for child portraits are hiking trails, creeks, open fields, the beach, and the woods.
You decide when it is good to pose and when it isn’t
Overall, you will have to be the judge if you think posing for kid photographers will work, after all you are the photographer taking the photos. You can suggest to the parents what you think will or won’t work. Parents are likely to follow what you think is the best situation. Therefore, I specialize in kid photography. I know children and I know when it is time to pose and when it is not. Follow me on Instagram for more tips on kid photography.