To photograph our own child is not always easy. They are the second world’s most unpredictable creatures after Jakarta’s three-wheeler bajaj.
However, capturing the most amazing replica of your younger self day by day, year after year, is… fascinating. Their expressions, responses and gestures are lovely and funny. Sometimes, they make us think: what do they have in mind, how do they connect things and make conclusions? (But I think children under-5 don’t make conclusions)
Sometimes their expressions are one-in-a-lifetime; they don’t repeat something exactly the same way (or perhaps nobody does). Yes, we can ask them to pose, but we’ll get slightly different results.
Below are the 7 tips on how to photograph children at their best expressions. Remember that this is a personal experience with an under-5 rather than a scientific study.
1. Be Ready
As mentioned above, children are unpredictable creatures. So, be ready with your phone camera.
2. Use Your Instinct
The next question would be: when should I be ready? The answer is: use your instinct. You know best your children; when will they smile, what makes them laugh or cry, what bores them, etc.
3. Interact with Your Child
The best way to get your child’s tons of expressions is by having an interaction with them; ask them questions, explain them something, play toys, etc. Don’t forget tips #1 and #2.
4. Framing Is Important, but Not Always
Sometimes, we do have time for framing, but most times, we don’t. So, we might want to focus on their expressions, and then work on the framing (cropping-red) later.
5. Make It Fun
Everything about children should be fun, not depressing. Don’t push them to do something that they don’t like or don’t want to.
6. Share and Talk
As parents who live in smartphones era, we might face bigger challenges than our parents or grandparents. Smartphones should not be a barrier between parents and children to talk. So, share and discuss your photos with your child. We’ll be surprised on how fast they can absorb and keep up with what they see. This enables us to track their development and keeps us aware of what they capable of, and how fast they can learn new things.
7. Don’t Do This All the Time
Quality time with your children is more important than anything in the world. So, get rid of your phone as much as possible when you’re near them. Do something that can stimulate their motor development and soft skills instead.