If you’re a people photographer, it’s hard to resist photographing kids as they play, run around and… well, be kids. It’s also a great chance for you to play as a photographer.
Here are seven tips to help you capture photographs of kids at play.
1. Use Your Phone Instead of Missing the Moment
I teach people how to use their new DSLR cameras. One of their biggest frustrations is that their friends seem to take better photos with a phone than they can with their complicated DSLR.
If you’re still struggling with your DSLR, don’t be afraid to use your phone as a camera. As long as you keep in mind the most important parts of a photo – light, moment, and composition – your phone will take great photos.
2. Be an Observer Instead of a Boss
If you’re going to photograph kids at play, it’s best to have them acting candidly rather than telling them what to do. Just let them play, and they’ll give you countless moments to photograph. The moment you step in and tell them what to do or how to play, you’ll ruin the moment.
While photographing kids at play, consider the angle you’re using. Your photos will look more exciting if you go for low angles or face to face. Get down to their level (if not lower) and into their world.
4. Get Close
Join in the play, and get as close as you can while using a wide angle. When you look at the photo it will make you feel like you’re right back there in the moment.
5. Get Behind Them
Photographing people from behind adds a bit of mystery to your photo. It lets the viewer bring a little more of their own imagination to the photo. When we can’t see the person’s face, it makes us imagine what they’re up to.
6. Play With Your Shutter Speed
One of the biggest problems you’ll face when capturing action is motion blur. So you’ll need a fast shutter speed.
But you can also play with a slow shutter speed and capture creative motion blur.
7. Tell a Story With Your Photos
You can tell a story with your photos. It might be a ‘before and after’ story using just two photos. Or it could be a beginning, middle and end with three photos. It might even be a longer story that fills a photo book.
Here’s a checklist for photographing kids as they run around and play.
- Consider this playtime for you as a photographer.
- Use any camera you’ve got – even your phone.
- Stand back and let moments happen on their own.
- Be creative with your angles.
- Get in close.
- Add mystery to your photo by photographing kids from behind.
- Be creative with your shutter speed.
- Tell stories with multiple photos.
Now go out there and take some great photos of those kids being kids and share them with us in the comments.
Table of contents
- ADVANCED GUIDES
- How to Photograph Kids Playing, Running Around and Generally Being Kids
- CREATIVE TECHNIQUES