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Taking Great Kid Candids

Posted on February 15, 2009 15:02 by Bellemorephoto

One of the first things I tell parents when I go to their houses to take portraits is to let their kids be themselves. I put them in front of the backdrop and let the kids do their thing: twirl around, be silly, look off at the wall. Why? Because these real kid moments make great portraits.

Take my sons as examples. They are pretty sick of seeing me with a camera and they both have different reactions when they see me coming to take their picture. Casey hides and Dillon pastes on this cheesey disinterested grin. So now I have to find creative ways of taking their picture besides saying, "Look at the camera and say Cheese". Some techniques I have used are as follows:

1. Set up the Shot and then let them relax

Put your kids in the position you want them in, in front of the background you want them in and then give them a few seconds to forget you are taking their picture. Put the camera down, but keep it accessible so when they are finally looking in your direction, you can quickly snap the picture.

Here's the boys "posing" for the shot I want:           


 Here's the boys in the same shot after about 10 seconds:


2. Take pictures of them doing something

Often, if they are involved in an activity, they won't notice you trying to take their picture. Then you won't get the typical pose from them. Also, this helps tell the story of the moment. In the picture below of my kids, they were picking apples and Casey didn't have any apples in his bag yet, so Dillon gave him one. It was a very rare moment of sharing between the two of them and I was happy to catch it.


3. Hide!! Be like the Papparazzi

You think I'm joking, but in this instance, I was hidden in the apple trees and just snapping pictures of them picking apples. Find a place to hide or sneak into a room when they aren't expecting you.


4. Set up the pose and let only the kid be the candid shot

Take the picture with an adult or an older kid and let them hold the props. Then let the younger kid in the shot and let them think they are just talking to the other person. After a few seconds, call their name and snap the shot.

Forced pose:                                                                 


 Setup pose with Casey as the candid:




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