Tips and Tricks for Working with Children in the Photo Studio

Taking portraits of children in the studio isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, it can be one of the most challenging types of studio photography around. Photographer Jamie Hayes shares some of his tips and tricks for lighting and posing that can make things run smoothly when taking portraits of children:

Even with the most well-behaved kids there are a lot of challenges in the studio.

Light a Large Area

To start with, children are more likely to get restless and need to move around—a lot. This can be distracting, especially if your mind is partially on your gear and not wholly on the subject. That’s one of the reasons why Hayes has set up his fill lights in a way that ensures that he won’t ever have to move them. The large fill light at the rear of the studio and the two uplights in the front combine to create a large “softbox effect” that keeps even lighting throughout. Only his key light is used to create shadows.

children studio photography

Limit Props

Along similar lines, Hayes keeps the content in his photos as pared down as possible, choosing to use very few props. This serves a dual role: not only does it mean less can go wrong, but it also means that his shots will probably pass muster when finished. As he says, “The more things there are in the photo, there more chances of there being a problem in the sales room.”

Use Creative Posing Tricks

For posing, Hayes uses such tricks as giving the child a sticker to play around with on their finger tips. This keeps the child engaged and yet posed nicely. Of course, it helps to have a friendly, entertaining demeanor, and best of all, a child model as well-behaved as the one in this video. He certainly seemed like a dream to work with.

quick child posing tips

Have any tips and tricks for getting great children’s portraits? Let us know!

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