Children's Outdoor Portrait Photography Tips

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Getting great children’s outdoor portrait photographs can be challenging and requires patience and resourcefulness, but there is no doubt that the results can be totally worth it. Children’s portraits make for some of the best photographs ever taken.

Here are some tips if you want to get outdoor portrait photographs of children.

Time of day:  

Early morning or early evening is the best time to take outdoor portraits of children. There is sufficient natural light to give you get soft portraits. Bright sunlight or midday is definitely not the best time for children’s photography. There is too much contrast creating harsh portraits, children end up squinting at the camera, and the heat could make younger children cranky and difficult to photograph. If shooting at this time is unavoidable, try to use a shaded spot or a cloud cover if available.
    

Camera settings:   

You will need a shallow depth of field on your lens so that the focus is clearly on the child and the background fades out. Use wide open aperture of say f5.6 or less. This will give you a shallow depth bringing the child clearly in focus while blurring out the background. Also, since children outdoors rarely stay still, you will need a fast shutter speed to capture clear, sharp pictures. Use a zoom lens that give you some distance from the child but allows you to get the entire frame.
    

Action shots:  

The best portraits of children are those that capture them in action. Just give them their space and keep clicking. Remember, you can get great shots when they are doing something silly like rolling on the grass, sticking out their tongue, chasing bubbles or eating an ice lolly. Action photographs in the park on a swing or a see-saw too make wonderful portraits.
    

Have fun:  

Probably the most aspect of outdoor portrait photographs of children. Make sure the photo session is fun for both the child and you. Try to build a rapport and get to know the child before the shoot so understand something about their nature and what they enjoy. Keep this in mind while shooting, it will help you get portraits that capture the essence of the child. With babies, keep them occupied with toys. Talking baby talk and playing pee-a-boo can get them to smile and look at the camera.
    

Take lots of pictures:  

This works in all forms of photography, but is absolutely essential in children’s portrait photography. Just keep clicking as many pictures as you can. With digital cameras there is nothing to lose and you will have a whole range of pictures to choose from.

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