Children have a natural charm on camera and, if you know how to photograph them well, this can really shine through and get you some great photos.
However, knowing how to photograph children is only half the battle; having well-behaved children to shoot with makes your job a thousand times easier!
Luckily for you, there are some tips and tricks which can help you along the way to having angelic little darlings on camera.
1. Be mindful of their energy levels
Children are notorious for being full of beans one moment and having a tiredness-induced tantrum the next, so you need to be wary of this before you start filming.
Similarly, if your child is still having naps during the day, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t force them to be in front of a camera during the time that they would usually be napping – in fact, doing that is almost a surefire way to have a grumpy and grizzly child on your hands.
On this, we spoke to Filming With Kids who said: “Children just can’t regulate their energy levels in the same way that adults are able to. Because of this, if you want to get the best out of them on camera, you have to pay close attention to the patterns in their energy levels.
“Planning your shooting time around the schedule of your kids rather than going by your own schedule is really the only way to overcome this and, despite potentially being inconvenient, you should see results.”
2. Use a reward system
Using a reward system to encourage kids to behave in an age old technique and is so popular because it really does work.
Not only will rewarding the kids for their good behaviour encourage them to continue throughout the day, it will also lift their spirits during a potentially long day of shooting.
However, as time goes on, kids are less likely to be inspired by the classic sticker-on-the-wall-chart technique, so you’re going to have to get creative to get your desired reaction.
If you’re stuck for ideas on possible reward systems for your kids, this jar and cotton ball method has proven to be successful!
3. Be as prepared as possible
Being filmed and photographed can be an incredibly tiring affair for children, especially if it goes on for a long time. Because of this, it’s crucial that you’re prepared to keep your kids sweet during the shooting process.
It goes without saying that they shouldn’t be hungry, tired, or thirsty at any point during shooting, but you also need to keep them entertained during the more boring times, such as setting up, because bored children tend to be misbehaving children.
Bringing toys and games into the mix is a great way to keep the little ones entertained and lift their spirits if they’re getting tired or grouchy. You could even take it one step further and hire a baby wrangler – whose job is to entertain children and get the required reactions out of them on camera – to take the pressure off yourself.