Getting genuine emotion from children requires patience. I like to take my time and allow the atmosphere to be relaxed. I give them permission to act like…well….kids… not to be upset if they are off task. Keeping connection is the most important piece of the puzzle.
Read more: 5 Tips to Capture True Emotion
Here are a few ideas to remember when trying to capture genuine emotion in children.
It sounds like an obvious but have your camera charged up with a card ready to go in an easy to grab spot. You don’t know how many times I have grabbed my camera and the card is full so I missed the moment.
Be a fly on the wall. Kids can get burned out on pictures pretty easily. If you have a fly on the wall approach, then they will be less bothered and it will allow you to capture some very real moments.
Go on an adventure! Rain puddles or nature hikes are fun! Bring your camera with you when you do your errands for a day – it’s a nice memory to have a “day in the life of” to look back at your children (especially as they get older).
Let the kids have a fit….once they’re done with their fit then it will be out of their system and you can have fun again! Bribing just gets in the way of connection. Remember to be patient instead!
When children are struggling and you need to help them get back to their heart, you can give them some ideas.
Examples: Can you tell your sister a silly secret? See if you can make her laugh! Get the kids moving – jumping on the bed? Hanging upside down from their mom or dad? Piggy back ride? Ask questions to get them thinking, give them a snack, surprise them with a funny noise – squeaky chicken or animal noises (depending on age). Tell a funny story!
Talk to children like they are the most intriguing people on Earth and they will probably love being around you and your camera.
If it’s not going well, keep it positive! Have some ideas that allow for the kids to have some independence or sometimes just changing scenery can help (especially when it involves going outside).
Make an album or just show them their pictures from years past on the computer. Kids love to look at themselves and it will also help them to remember that it’s nice to have pictures to look back on.
Also, use a tripod sometimes so you can get in the shot, too!