Its that time of year, the weather is lovely, humidity has dropped and days out are much more frequent. The camera comes out and you want that all important perfect photo of the kids to send home to family and friends in this years Christmas card. Stressed just reading this?!

It really needn’t be stressful, here are my top 5 tips on photographing children.

1. Time of day is a really important factor

Shooting in the midday sun will cause harsh shadows on your subjects face and lots of squinting eyes! The kids will be moaning about how the sun is hurting their eyes and it will not bring the out the best from them! If you have young ones, do consider their nap and feeding times. As a children’s photographer, one of the most important questions I ask my clients when booking their session is when does their toddler sleep. No point planning a family session when little Gracie is due a nap. She will be grumpy and will not co-operate for you nor me!

Anna Bowkis photography

2. Let your child/children bring a favourite toy along with them

It will put them at ease and before you know it the toy has been left to one side and been forgotten! You will then get your photo without the tatty teddy or headless Barbie!

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3. Don’t ask kids to “smile”

Seriously, I mean it ! The minute you ask your kid to smile, you will get that cheesy fake smile, head to one side (if they are anything like my two), and a forced school photo smile that you really do not want. Try being the clown, pull silly faces, say a silly joke, I am sure you will get your kids laughing in no time!

4. Let kids be kids

Don’t force poses onto them, let them play, run around and be kids. Just watch from the sidelines and you will get that perfect shot. Choose a location that your kids love, a favourite place they love to hang around. It doesn’t always have to be a close up portrait, capturing your child playing in the park or on the beach can be just as much fun.

Anna Bowkis photography

5. Try a different perspective

Get down at their level. Also try shooting from above, looking down at them is another fun perspective. Try sitting on the floor and get the kids to run towards you. Most of all photographing kids should be fun, not stressful! Relax and have fun, kids will sense if you are stressed. Just be yourself and enjoy!

Anna Bowkis is an award winning children’s lifestyle photographer. She lives in Sai Kung with her 2 girls and husband.

Visit her website to see her work.

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