Children are a good source of images, so, from time to time, it’s interesting to do some sessions with them, but, as in this business nothing is easy, working with them in most cases can be tremendously complicated.
When we work with adults, it’s easy to communicate with them. Everything is limited to their ability to interpret and coordinate, which usually, if you choose well the models, it’s sufficient. Therefore, the session is directed by the photographer.
With children, there is no communication, none! No coordination, no ability to interpret and the sessions are always directed by them. So it’s their cuteness, their cries or sleepiness that marks the steps to follow, and the session must be adapted to their rhythm.
For me, it is very important that for none of my models, the session proves as a negative experience, but on the contrary, that it always brings something positive. And children are no exception to that rule. The child sets the rhythm, if he gets tired, we stop, if he cries, we stop, if he gets angry, we stop, if he falls asleep, we do not stop taking photos.
No matter what you try to do, normally, the child will do everything possible to make it impossible, so I change the photo depending on their mood.
If there is an adult with the child in the photo, the photo will also be adapted to the state of the child, for example, if I want to have a mother and her daughter have fun together and the daughter starts to cry, automatically the model (mother) starts to quarrel with his daughter, or she puts a face of burden and we save the photo. When the child laughs again, the model is readapted and we take the picture that was originally thought.
But the thing does not end there. Except for newborns, children move, a lot, and randomly. Whatever frame you want to do, the child makes sure that you have to chase him all through the studio and the perfect moment (if there is one), is reduced to a few seconds. That is a very motivating challenge and you have a great time with the child and the situations he generates, but it is easier to photograph animals from a hide, they move less :).
And finally, the adult model should try to have his expression coincide or be consistent with the child, which creates funny situations that makes us all laugh.
Adding more difficulty to the shot because the child, who does not understand why the adult laughs, often does not coincide his expression and remains distracted looking around.
Although not everything is bad, sometimes children collaborate and help in what they can …
For me, the sessions with children are challenging because, as Toni has explained, you have to constantly adapt to their gestures.
Maybe you are making a photo smiling looking at camera and suddenly the child gets serious or starts crying, but of course, you do not see him and therefore you don’t realize it and you keep smiling.
And suddenly someone says “Face of fatigue” and you have to change the chip completely. And it is very likely that in those few seconds of adaptation, the child has changed his expression again and that happenes an endless number of times ahaha.
In addition, If they are small, you have to carry them on their back throughout the session, and during the first hour they do not weigh much, but then …. you end up with sore arms … ahahah