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How To Photograph Pets And Children — 11 Tips

Photographing children can be fun. They have entirely different reactions to the camera, are very unpredictable yet lovely in their own ways. And most of this is true for pets too. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of it.

  1. Be Patient: In photography patience can be ultimately rewarding (or frustrating on a bad day). Children and pets are unpredictable so it may take quite some time to get the shots you want. Things are mostly out of control and waiting it out is the key to success. So, don’t be irritated,try to be cool and get familiar with child.
  2. Be Ready: Don’t let your patience get the better of you. Be alert and prepared. Keep your eye on the viewfinder and don’t hesitate to shoot. In the days of the digital you can always delete the unwanted shots. Set your camera to continuous-auto-focus (or the sports mode) so that activity and movement doesn’t throw the subject out of focus. This setting is present on almost all consumer and DSLRs nowadays.
  3. Maintain Distance: If you are not family and not a friend it’s advisable to maintain a distance to avoid distracting your subject. Also there’s a technical angle to this reasoning. Shooting pics from too close may induce unwanted geometrical artifacts and distortions. Thus rely on a zoom lens.
  4. Come Close: Against the exact opposite of the above, sometimes you may intentionally want to get close to get some geometrical distortion to get a funny look to the shots and the faces of you pet(s).
  5. Capture Natural Poses: While kids can be directed to pose, try to freeze some natural moments to eternity. You’ll cherish these for the times to come.
  6. Keep Friends and Family Close: When shooting pets or kids it’s good to have one of theirs close ones to assist you. When you are holding the camera it can become quite difficult to make the child smile or pose. This also can induce reassurance to kids who are not comfortable with a stranger following them around with an scary something.
  7. Use Props: Children either love to pose or hate it. In such a situation you can use props and toys to engage them.
  8. Expression:Most important feature of the photograph, keep the expression natural and original.

    by Sebastián-Dario (CC)

  9. Multiple Shots: Children and pets are always moody, unpredictable and very active. Thus it becomes quite a task to get it in a single shot. Always shoot in continuous mode and if your camera doesn’t come with this feature, be prepared to hit the shutter-release every few seconds. Later when you sort them on your computer you can pick and choose to keep the best.
  10. Color: Lively and energetic as children are peppy, vibrant or soft colors compliment them and the entire scene. Try to avoid dark and dull colors unless you know what you are doing.
  11. Angle and Perspective: It’s important to get your camera to the level of your subject for a vast majority of the shots and normally means being on your knees at the very least. But feel free to break the rules and try some crazy angles to portray the madness in the scene.

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1 comment… add one
  • patrick Nov 10, 2011 @ 17:26

    Perfect tips! Just in time, preparing for a children photography session.

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