Behavior and Background Tips for All Age Portraits

Photographing people is always a challenge. If they’re children, you’ve got to get them to hold still and look at the camera. And no matter who you’re photographing, a great background adds to the photo. Photographer Denice Duff shares her pro tips on these two aspects in the following video:

Be interesting

As a photographer, normally you want to get to know your client better and be highly interested in them. But when you’re photographing young children, that will not work. It is you who will need to be wildly interesting so that the children pay attention to you.

how to photograph kids


When working with children think of what children find interesting. They will not know how to pose for you. So, play around. Use your camera as some kind of a playful character instead of a piece of equipment. This will also have them pay more attention to the camera. The more playful that you get, the more cheerful shots you’ll capture. (This sometimes works for adults, too!)

photos of children

Be wary of the background

Like with any other photo shoots, you need to be aware of what is going around in the background. Be mindful of trees and branches popping out from the back of the subject’s head.

Use contrast. Contrast lets the subject stand out and reduces distraction. For instance, do not place a subject with brown hair in front of a brown wall.

Blur the background. This will help you in getting rid of any distracting background elements if you cannot get rid of them physically. Using a tele lens at a wider aperture setting will help you melt it out while making your subject stand out.

Pay attention to the light ratio. While evaluating your background, don’t just pay attention to how it looks, but also to how it is lit. If the background is lit with less light than your subject, then when you set your exposure for the subject, the background will turn out way too dark.

Let the background serve the brand. Make sure the background environment does justice to the subject. If a businessman is placed in an environment with a bunch of silvery sky scrapers, he’ll look more powerful. Or if you’re starting a blog for healthy eating, put the subject in a clean kitchen with healthy food. Make the background relevant to the subject and take away anything that doesn’t add to the photo.

meaningful environment

If you feel that working with children is challenging, or need a guide to set the best background for your subject, these tips will sure come in handy.

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