Photographing School Age Children

March 16, 2010

The challenge for photographing school age children is that, as they become more socialized and begin to have friends, they become more self-conscious about everything. When they are in that wonderful 5 to 6 year age category they are willing to “ham it up” and co-operate with your picture taking, but when they are off to school it all changes.

Suddenly they have learned our little tricks to make them smile, like saying “cheese” or something similar. When we want to take their photograph they turn directly towards the camera and give us that plastered on big smile they have become accustomed to giving us when we photograph them.

The Standard School Age Grin

The Standard School Age Grin

But that is not what we are looking for. Nope, we are looking for something more natural, less posed, and interesting.

As you can see with our friend on the right he has the “Standard Grin” down pat, and try as hard as we might getting him to change it can be a real challenge. A lot of times they give us this look because the other parent or some siblings are nearby, and they want to ham it up for everyone.

One way to avoid this is to let everyone know ahead of time what it is you want to photograph, make sure everyone leaves you and your subject alone, and make sure the subject is on board with what you want to accomplish.

That way there are no surprises, brother and sister aren’t egging him on, and you can get a good photograph as long as you don’t dilly dally around and take to long. A little preparation goes a long way here!

Fun With Paint

Fun With Paint

Now, if you have been following along with me, you know that you want to have your camera ready at all times. Keep your batteries charged, spare batteries and memory cards at the ready, and the camera located where you can grab it quickly when you see a shot you really don’t want to miss.

Like the kid on the left. He has taken some paint and created a cool look that exposes his playful side and shows his creativity. These kinds of photographs of your school age children will be appreciated well into their teenage and beyond years.

It is important to keep taking lots and lots of photographs of your children as they grow and mature. The changes seem to come at lightspeed, we get busy and sometimes forget, but for those of you who take the time to learn the basics of photographing children the rewards are tremendous.

Remember, keep taking lots and lots of photographs of your kids. You will be glad you did!

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

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