6 TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING UNCOOPERATIVE KIDS // family children photography

First and foremost, there's nothing wrong with an uncooperative kid. Most of the time I'm asking parents to bring their kids to exciting new places they've never been to before. We can't blame them for wanting to play in the mud rather than pose for the camera. So as their photographer, you have to be prepared to adapt to their mood and try to work with them, not against them.

Here are my top six tips on photographing children . . .

1. M A K E   I T   S I L L Y

This first tip is just as much for you, the photographer, as it is for the kids. You need to be prepared to embarrass yourself for the sake of making the kids like you. If you're just another boring adult, they may be less likely to follow your instructions in a comfortable and relaxed way. We want genuine happiness, not fake smiles!

Don't ever underestimate the power of silly face photos. Ask them to make their goofiest faces and then start snapping! In between silly looks, there's bound to be some laughter, elation, some fun!

2.  A S K   T H E M   Q U E S T I O N S

A great way to get kids to smile and look where you want them to, is to ask them questions. Ask them what colour your camera, shirt or hair is. Ask them what they see when they look up into the sky. If you've heard the parents mentioning a treat after photos if they behave, ask them about it. Are they getting ice cream? What's their favourite flavour?

For the younger tots, what sound does a kitty cat make? What about a chicken? Here's where you can get silly as well. Throw out some hilarious animal noises and you just might get some giggles out of the kids - not to mention mom and dad.

3.  G O   A D V E N T U R I N G

Especially when you're bringing families into the great outdoors, kids can often get excited and easily distracted. That's not their fault! We're tempting them with nature and wonder, what can we expect! So instead of forcing them to sit pretty and smile, take them on an adventure!

Ask them to find a really cool shaped rock, a brightly coloured leaf or some pretty wildflowers. Then have them hold it up or out, or have them look through it or hold it up to their eye! Be creative!

4.  P L A Y   A   G A M E

Try making the photo taking into a game. Have them run a ways away and hide behind a tree or a bush, and then sneak up on them and shoot! Try playing Simon Says. Ask them to do some silly things first, and then throw in a "Simon says, hug your sister!" or "Simon says, smile pretty!"

5.  L E T   T H E M   L E A D

Another great tactic for when you're way out in the forest and all the kids are thinking about is exploring, is to let them pick the location. Ask them to find the coolest looking tree, or the prettiest view of the river. I think giving them some say in what's going on helps them to feel included, and they become a lot more interested in what's going on.

6.  M A K E   T H E M   T H E   S T A R

An especially good tip for when siblings aren't jiving well with one another. Ask one of them if they want to take a few photos of just them! Let them choose or help them pick a nice spot and then try using one of the previously discussed tips. Open up your aperture and ask them to get ready for their close up!

Disclaimer: By no means were the kids in these photos uncooperative or difficult, they're just hella cute.

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