Posing Kids Challenges
Posing children can really be a challenge for new photographers. If you're not used to working with kids, then it can really make your photo shoot difficult. Some basic tips, Kids know a lot more than we give them credit for. And one thing they pick up on quickly is emotions. Be calm and relaxed around kids. If your tone of voice and body language shows tension, your child models will pick up on it quickly.
Getting the most out of kids requires that the kids be natural and enjoy themselves. Make sure the kids are relaxed by including mom or dad in the photo shoot. Get the kids to talk about their favorite things. Music, games and shows they enjoy. At some point, as with other models, let the kids know what you are doing. Talk about what's going to happen during the shoot. Kids really don't get enough credit. If you treat them with respect, they repay you with a great shoot!
Posing kids can bring it's own nightmares. When posing kids, make sure you don't touch. Respect their space. Have mom, or a stylist fix the hair, or outfit. Which brings up an important point... You do have a stylist, assistant, or chaperone present when working with children and teens, right? Again, make sure both mom and the child feel comfortable. Safety first when working with kids.
Once you have a good pose, take some shots. and then, you should move. Get a few shots from different angles of the same post. Use your zoom and move in our out. One good pose can have many good shots in it, if you change your perspective. Get zoomed in tight! Frame them up closely, and avoid a ton of background!
During the shoot, feedback is important. Don't forget to keep reinforcing the good that your kids are doing. Keep directing and keep positive reinforcement throughout. Make your kids feel good and you'll get better results.
First off, lets just admit, here and now, that young kids, say 5 or 6 and under, will just not be patient and you most likely won't be able to really pose them. You'll get better results if you work with them, rather than work against them. If the kids want to pose their way, let them. Follow along. Take shots them as they run, play and laugh. Some of the best kid photos come from these candid moments!
Kids are naturally curious. Play on it. Show them your work. Involve them. Make it a challenge. "Can you sit like this?" And you sit, while you have them make a photo of you! Challenge them!
If you are planning on a more formal shoot, with lighting setups and camera on a tripod, plan on a little more work before hand. For one, don't have kids sitting there unnecessarily. If you are setting up lighting, do it with a stand in before you get the kid to your set. No sense making the kid impatient and fidgety before you even start making photos!