Children’s Portrait Photography: 10 Tried ‘n True Ideas

Looking to expand your artistic portfolio? Consider these tried ‘n true techniques for creating one-of-a-kind children’s portraits. Just remember – photographing children can be tricky and requires flexibility, a splash of silliness and a pound of patience! If one technique isn’t working for either you or the child, bag it and try another.

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #1:

Use Their “Natural” Habitat – Photographing  children while they’re happily engaged in their favorite activity – whether that be reading, drawing, building a Lego tower or cooking with every pot in the kitchen – allows the child’s personality to shine forth in all its glory.  For more prop ideas, check out these children’s photography prop ideas.

Flickr: trazomfreak

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #2:

Ready for My Close-Up! Getting in tight eliminates distractions and brings the subject into full focus. Don’t worry about cutting off part of the child’s head or neck; it’s their sweet eyes that really melt Grandma’s heart!

Flickr: 69er

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #3:

Go For the Candid – When it comes to children’s photos think like a Boy Scout – always be prepared! Even the most well orchestrated portrait sessions can fall short of a truly candid shot. Look for photo opportunities in parks, on vacations or at that next family get together.

Flickr: johnbolland

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #4:

At an Angle – Tipping your camera at an angle can add a really fun dimension to your portraits. Be sure to follow the direction of your subject’s face and avoid getting too carried away lest your photos go completely sideways. (Think: Facebook)

Flickr: beacherry

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #5:

View From Above – Looking down on the child – literally, not figuratively – can really drive home their tiny stature! Experiment with depth of field to ensure that the child’s face and lower body remain in focus.

Flickr: johnkay

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #6:

Look Out Below! If the view from above isn’t your thing, explore your options from down below. Photographing children from their perspective – or well below it – often lends to a feeling of empowerment on behalf of the child (“I’m bigger than you!”), which makes for a happy, smiling face.

Flickr: amyselleck

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #7:

Little Bit Shy – Instead of the child looking directly at the camera, have them look down or off toward the distance. This technique captures their innocence and looks completely un-staged.

Flickr: macrophile

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #8:

Off Center – There’s no rule that says a portrait must be taken of the subject sitting dead-center. To spice things up a bit, have the child sit off to one side while keeping the background in focus.

Flickr: emeryway

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #9:

On a Different Level – When taking sibling shots, try to keep everyone on a different level or height. For example, have the tallest child in the center, while the shorter children stand or sit on opposite sides.  This keeps the photo visually appealing and not so ‘stale’ or rigid looking.

Flickr: emeryway

Children’s Portrait Photography Idea #10:

Ten Tiny Piggies – Step away from the face and focus on those cute little piggies instead! Barefoot or sandaled, in dress up shoes or sneakers with the laces undone, a portrait of a child’s feet is an instant hit with both parents and grandparents alike.

Flickr: azdodsons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *