HELP photographing 2 year olds...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JenLavazza, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. JenLavazza

    JenLavazza TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have advice on photographing young children (around age 2). I've tried all the tricks I know and sometimes they work...but sometimes they just work once...then I'm lost!!! Here are some I use:

    "Watch my camera and when I take a picture you'll see the little bug pop his head out and make a funny face"

    Making funny noises (feeling like an idiot the whole time, especially if it doesn't work)

    Try playing games like Simon Says if they're a little older and can understand, but usually this doesn't work with 2 year olds.

    I thought about buying puppets? Maybe for this age group they'd like that?
     
  2. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    There's an old saying in movies "Never work with children or animals."

    The problem seems to persist to age 3 as well. The problem is my daughter understands but when I say "look at daddy" she turns her face towards me, but not her eyes lol.

    Put Spongebob on and the TV behind you? haha.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it helps to try and establish a little rapport with anyone, even a toddler, before trying to photograph them. I haven't done many kids other than my own and some relatives and friends of family as far as small children are concerned. I think puppets are a good idea though. I've seen pros use many differnet things from squeaky toys to puppets and one used a clean feather duster to tickle their nose/face and then snap. It seems to work better if you have the camera set up w/ a remote shutter release, focused well then interact with them, step away and snap quickly. Some are just naturally better with kids than others.
     
  4. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you trying to get studio portraits? Maybe buy an Elmo costume. . .
     
  5. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If it is on location, I just let them do their own thing and capture the moments. Check out my website below.
     
  6. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    My almost 3 year old son does the same thing....makes it difficult.


    One thing to do is use props the kid will enjoy. If they have a favorite stuffed animal...use it. Make a rocking horse...even sitting in a empty barrel is fun for kids. Think like a kid....some of the silliest things in the world will be fun to a kid and many will be great photo ops.
     
  7. IdahoCanyonMan

    IdahoCanyonMan TPF Noob!

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    If you trim the bottom of a Pez dispenser then it will fit into a standard hot shoe...

    If studio shooting:
    Several years ago I did a lot of young kids in the studio. I found that they frequently enjoyed the lights and only smiled after they saw the flash. Be ready to shoot in rapid succession. Lights with a fast recycle time (< 0.5 seconds) are really nice. Also, my experience was that the kids had to warm up, not just to me and my partner, but also to the whole studio environment. I usually got junk for the first 15 minutes of the shoot and then sometime after that I would get a nice burst of smiles and cooperation, and then the kid would get tired of it and I'd get nothing again. If you are trying to do a whole line up of kids with only a minute or two for each then you're in trouble.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A method someone once mentioned was a round of .45 ACP in the ground near them. They said it usually straightens them right up. ;)

    This image has been released into the public domain by its author, The Epopt.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The old-fashioned tickle feather works pretty well on two year-olds. Bright pink or yellow are good colors. Puppets also do work, but the feather has an allure. It's an old standby.
     
  10. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Valium in a Pez dispenser. Works wonders on toddlers, adolescents and problem teenagers. Personally I find KmH's suggestion a bit over the top. A well placed 22 LR will do the trick just as well and leave a much smaller wound to be patched up. Plus less blood to clean up and much quieter than a 45 so there is less chance of the neighbors calling the po-lice. :mrgreen: :lol: :lmao: [​IMG]
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only 2 year old sessions that resulted in great photos were taken candidly... while at play with the family as a whole. You can throw in a few family posed photos in between play.
     
  12. kami

    kami TPF Noob!

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    You must develope rapport and integrate play into the session. No matter how you execute it, each kid is different. For some puppets will work, for others they don't. Making funny sounds may work for 1, the other may ignore you.

    You may get ideas from us but it all boils down to the toddler you're photographing.

    I have 2 neices who have just both turned 2. One of my neice (Phoebe) and I play a lot and we try to tickle each others' neck. My other niece (Ava) likes to play chase.

    So during photoshoots I'll call out to Phoebe and say, "Phoebe, I'm gonna get your neck! I'm gonna get your neck!" While making "tickle" fingers with both my pointing fingers or if I'm the one shooting, I'll use my left finger.

    She'll smile, laugh and try to protect her neck with either her hands or bowing her head downward to hide her neck.

    For AVa I'll shout out, "Ava! I'm gonna get you!! I'm gonna get you!!!" and she smiles, laughs, giggles, and does a lot of silly things.

    I can actually make them smile and act silly.. ON DEMAND! haha!

    Also, toddlers have the tendency to imitate what you're doing! So placing your finger on your cheek or putting both hands on your head will most of the time get the same response from your subject.

    So my advice is find out what the kids enjoy and use that, if you're shooting for other people, have them make their kids giggle.

    Also, it also helps if you set your camera to burst mode. And have a large size memory card. :lol:

    Candid shots are really nice but nothing beats a candid shot of a kid having fun!
     

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