Category Archives: Siobhan’s Blog Humour

Childrens Portrait Photography Top Tips

As most readers of this blog are aware, my main business involves photographing babies, children and families at home or on location.  Photographing children involves a number of skills in order to get the best images of the children and capture their personalities in ways that their parents will love.  So I thought I might share a few tips and typical scenarios with you – for a bit of fun as much as anything else !

You may arrive at a house for a photo session and the little one will carry on like a seasoned top model throughout the entire session like this little star …

It is more likely however that the child will be slightly wary of you at first but if you take the time to play with them and get to know them you will soon be able to get some fabulous expressions from them … patience is the name of the game when you are doing baby and child shoots.

Some children may regard you with suspicion for some time and take a little longer to warm up …..

Some children may decide that they are not going to provide you with that lovely shot for Grandma …..

Babies that have just learnt to crawl are quite a challenge as they are only interested in the fact that they can now move around the house very fast and are not so interested in lifting their heads up so you can get a shot of their face.  If you don’t want to spend the entire session crawling on your belly like a large slug you may need to relocate the child to a contained area.  Putting them in the bath can work quite well as there is no escape !

The “Relaxed, Natural” style of photography that people really like does still require some sort of direction to get good results – however this may backfire … Telling siblings to cuddle will invariably mean one just strangles the other …

Suggestions like ” see if you can jump out from behind that tree and scare your brother ” may be taken too literally by the child and not result in the picture you were after ….

It might seem a good idea to play hide and seek with a child until they decide they are going to remain under the table and you can’t convince them to come back out….

You may have booked the photo session on the very day that a young child has learned how to gurn for the first time.  Said child will probably then practise their newly aquired gurning skills for a large part of the shoot.

You may be about to get the one shot that Mum would really like – the  perfect shot of the two girls together – and one will choose that moment to decide she should stuff a flower up her nose !

Or .. you will get to the ideal spot – amongst all the beautiful spring blossom, with a child dressed to coordinate perfectly with the environment and inevitably ….. you will be faced with a total meltdown ……

Taking children to the park so that they can play during the shoot always works well.  They may not reward you with much expression if you just sit them down on the floor and attempt to get a good portrait of them – but give them something to play on and they will soon perk up and look a great deal more enthusiastic !

It is important to control the session.  You need to time the shoot well and be very aware of the moods of the children throughout so that you don’t push them too much when they are tired, because if you do, it can all go horribly wrong.  Allowing time to have breaks and drinks and snacks will make the session much more successful.  But children will generally make it very obvious to you when they are starting to get a bit fed up …

Never  put the camera away too soon.  Keep it out of the bag until you actually leave the house or drive away – it may be that the photo Mum ends up loving is the very last one you take heading back through the front door – and you would have missed out on that one if you’d already packed all your gear away.

Finally – if you are enjoying yourself as much as your small models are … then you won’t go too far wrong !

Childrens Portraits Some 2010 favourites

I know we are about to launch into February – so I’m wondering what on earth happened to January and how it can be already be over ???  At this time of year when things are little quieter after Christmas I have a bit of time to organise my life; sort out things that have languished on the To-Do list (yeah right !) and tidy up all the computer disks and sort out my image libraries.  So in the course of this sterling work I thought I’d post up a small handful of images from the past year that I’m particularly fond of .. not because they are necessarily the best compositions or the best images from a technical point of view but just because they are images that I personally really like for a number of reasons.

I moved in June and the local area boasts some beautiful old stone walls and buildings that are lovely to use as backgrounds, plus this little chap is really gorgeous ..

Last year I started to photograph newborn babies and this has become one of my favourite types of photography now – this little Angel slept through the entire session and I was able to move her around and put her in all sorts of positions – this pose however she fell into completely naturally placing her little hands beautifully next to her face with absolutely no help from me … and I just love it!

This one I love simply because the session was so much fun – all three children that I photographed were just gorgeous but this picture just makes me smile every time I see it:)

This one is a special personal memory from a lovely Summer in France ….

I love photographing families and especially capturing moments of love between parents and children – this one I particularly love as the Mother’s face says it all.

This little girl was just a few days old when I photographed her  – I was lucky enough to get loads of beautiful images of her but I love this one because of its simplicity.

This little one was such fun – I could have chosen lots of different ones from this session – but this one is my favourite – and I’m not even sure why .. just something about her expression

This little girl is very special – she was my very first newborn model at just 1 week old and 5lb – absolutely wonderful – this is her at 6 months it was so lovely to catch up with her parents (a former Bride and Groom of mine) and see how she’d changed – we will be having another shoot very soon as she has just had her First Birthday  – can’t wait for a cuddle !

I love this shot as I had just started to get a bit more adventurous with the newborn shoots and Mum didn’t mind me putting her brand new baby in a basket and dumping her in a muddy part of the garden in front of a big pile of bricks and rubble .. I thought it would make a pretty backdrop ..

I love Black & White images and probably now do 75% of my portraits in B&W.  I think it can be particularly effective for close up children’s portraits.  There were tons and tons of favourites but I really liked these images of one my of my daughters little buddies …

I love it when an image manages to show the joy that small children experience every day from simple pleasures and just playing together .. this is really what I am aiming to capture in my all my Children’s Portraits and for me this image does just that ..

For the small percentage of colour images that I do take for clients I like to use the colours of the environment in the images so that they are more about the beauty of nature and the outdoors as opposed to just being an image in colour … these were from two different shoots but are both about the environment where they were taken.

Capturing special moments between members of the family is one of my main goals .. I love this image of the little boy and his Dad – this was one of the last ones I took before Dad had to jump in the waiting cab and get to work for an important meeting.

This next image I love because of the little girl’s wonderful smile and lovely natural expression – she was having a great time bouncing about on her little trampoline in the back garden .. its very simple but a favourite from the year.

Another baby one that I love simply because she looks so peaceful – she was awake for the whole session and wore herself out modelling … she finally gave in and collapsed into a deep sleep at the end and I took this shot.

And finally – a favourite moment for me of the year – this image was taken by my lovely friend and fellow photographer Carole Kelly of CK Photography.   We had arranged to do a session in a Northamptonshire Poppy field and managed around 15 mins before a scary lady appeared and chased us off the land … Carole got some wonderful shots in a short space of time – there are many lovely ones but I love this one especially – a fabulous memory of a funny afternoon !! Thanks Carole x

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