Photographing children can be quite challenging, but by following a few simple guidelines it is surprising what results you can get.
Firstly be prepared to take large amounts of shots to get those rare gems and with digital cameras this costs nothing except time.
If you always have your camera in hand, it soon becomes second nature to snap away at the playground, on the beach, or at birthday parties.
Your children will get used to being photographed and relax accordingly.
Try varying the angles at which you capture that moment, maybe go down to their level and don’t forget to use the zoom lens, if you have one. Experiment and just keep snapping, as with anything practice makes perfect.
Posed shots are much harder because children don’t like being still. Firstly select a background that will not detract from the individual or group being photographed and also get your subjects to wear a plain set of clothes.
Often professionals create uniformity in a family group by getting everyone to wear a plain coloured shirt, often white.
Another tip is in getting everyone to smile, anything forced doesn’t really work but if you can say something amusing, to produce a natural reaction, it works perfectly. Certainly relying on a single word, like cheese, to make a connection with the camera should probably be avoided.
If you can’t manage to get a smile from your subject it can still produce good results. Sometimes a child engrossed in a particular game or puzzle can be engaging.