how to photograph babies/toddlers in a studio setting

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by batich, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. batich

    batich TPF Noob!

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    i just got a job in a studio which i have never done. i have never really been around kids and i don't know how to photograph them or talk to them. how do i interact with them or engage them so i can take photos? what do i do to make them sit still or look at me? any tips or tricks?


     
  2. jovince3000

    jovince3000 Fried potato lover

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    I'm sorry but allow me to be blunt. If you're working for a studio that does kids and have no experience with kids it might have not been the best places to be and might want to learn QUICK.

    Here's the list of thing that come to mind to me right now, others might have stuff. There's no specific order to it.

    -Never shoot above head of the kid, either shoot at head level or below.
    -if they are scared of you. Go down on their level and/or bring a parent closer. it will be easier to interact with them.
    -If the kid doesn't cooperate / don't know how to. Explain what you want to do to the parents and they will handle the kid.
    - in 99% of the case, DO NOT TOUCH THE KIDS YOURSELF unless the kid come to you. if you need them to move in a specific way, ask the parents
    -always have Tutors or parents in close proximity while you shoot. Never shoot with a kid alone.
    -Buy the S*** out of them with toys and stuff. Play with them a little if you have that sort of time so they can get used to you.
    -Get 1....2.....3..... moaaaaaar posebooks.
    -Strobes can be dangerous on kids younger than 3 years old since their eyes aren't fully developed yet. Use Continuous light or place strobes at safe distance and lower the power on them a bit.
    -Light colors work really well on kid pictures.
    -Capture their attention with a sound and / or an object near the location you want them to look. You gain a short window.
    -Never take picture of a person that isn't major without a parent being present for that matter.
    -You may want to look up for a course that will teach you how to handle young kids / toddlers.
    -Never put them on a surface above ground if they are not properly monitored by a parent that stay close to the kid. Even if the ground is properly protected.
    -NO-F-ING-TRAINRAILS.
    -Learn to do composites, because most of the "daring" picture of toddlers are made with composites. Don't actually put a 2 weeks old kid on a freaking guitar.

    That's all that come to mind for now.
     
  3. medic2230

    medic2230 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When photographing kids especially at the toddler age if you can make the session a game with them then you can get some cooperation with them.

    Pretty much everything jovince said. I agree, if you've never been around kids and don't know how to interact with them then I'm not sure you're in the right place. They will try your patience and do everything you don't want them to do. They are a lot of fun to be around though and if you get on their level instead of towering over them you will be in a better spot from the start.
     
  4. dcbear78

    dcbear78 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow... The people who run this studio are all sorts of stupid.

    Wait... Are we talking kids or new borns? Kids are ok. Despite what you might think but they are actually just little people. The same basics apply with any portraiture of finding a rapport with your subject, this might involve embarrassing yourself some.

    Newborns on the other hand are a whole other kettle of fish. This is a very specialised area of photography. Safety of the child is paramount. You can take the best picture in the world but if a parent has any inkling that you put their child in danger, and it takes next to nothing for that to happen, then your name will be mud.

    You have already started looking for another job yeah?
     
  5. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Kids are easy to photograph if you follow golden rules:
    1 - Keep the parents involved as much as possible
    2 - Older kids love playing with the flash so dont let them blind themselves (parents hate that)
    3 - Consider an average of 1 pic every 3 minutes good (take your time)
    4 - Fart machine with remote speaker in the direction you want them to look is a very useful tool.

    Failing that drug them with flu medicine and use sunglasses to hide the eyes. Just kidding ...... but.......
     
  6. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Duct tape and whiskey are your friend.
     
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  7. jovince3000

    jovince3000 Fried potato lover

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    Lies, they are monsters born from your deepest fear (Commitments). And they nourish off your anguish (deadlines).
     
  8. snowbear

    snowbear fuzzy-wuzzy Supporting Member

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    How are your sales skills?
     
  9. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    interesting ....
     
  10. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    What, toddlers?

    Oh no, they are way worse than that. Way worse.
     
  11. batich

    batich TPF Noob!

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    yes, yes, they are. we're a traveling studio and we mostly deal with older people and couples but sometimes come across kids. we have pompoms and sometimes other toys i just don't know how to play with kids or get their attention. Even small children i'm not sure how to deal with, not just toddlers. Especially kids who are moody and hate getting photos taken. The only advice i got from my job was 'to talk to them on their level and use the monopod so they can see my face'. but idk wtf to even say to kids.
     
  12. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Kids are natural learners, for older kids you may take a minuet to teach them about what you are doing. Ask them to watch for the aperture to close down whine you press the shutter button. Involve them in the process and they are more likely to cooperate.

    For the littles, make it a game. Do one silly picture and one serious picture. Bribe them if their parents will allow it. Practice some silly knock knock jokes.

    For kids under 18 months, good luck! ;-)
     

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