How To Photograph Child That Is Cautious?

  • Little Carol was a timid child. 'She won't play with other children,' her mother said. She looked at me with large frightened eyes and clutched at her mother's clothes. She withdrew into her shell as soon as she entered the studio. She backed away from a proffered toy as if it might bite her. As long as she was away from the blanket of security represented by the familiarity of her home and her mother, her only desire was not to be noticed. The world terrified her and she thought that if she kept quiet maybe she would not get hurt. Her pre-occupation was to survive.

  • Most children go through a cautious phase at some point in their development. This is usually at about two years of age but it might be at one; but most children have grown out of it by the time they are three. During this time, which might last a few weeks or a few months, the child views all unfamiliar places, people and experiences with great suspicion. When inoculations have to be given to the child at this oversensitive stage, the effect on their minds can be serious and long-lasting. Even a visit to the hairdresser can be a frightening ordeal. The photographer, who has not merely to avoid frightening them, but to win their confidence and evoke some response, has no easy task.

  • With Carol, who had a cautious nature, or with a child who is merely passing through a phase of suspicion, the approach is much the same. Do not make any sudden moves or sounds. Speak quietly. Then slowly and patiently try to thaw the child. Remember that caution, frustrating though it can be, is a natural phase of development and in years gone by was a condition of survival for the human race. If our primeval ancestors had not been cautious they would probably have been eaten by wild animals.
    Little Carol is not faced today with the same dangers. But the feeling survives. White-coated men stick needles in her. Strangers rush at her and snatch her up out of the security of her cot. A door bites her finger. Just keeping alive seems to be a full-time occupation. So treat her gently. Let her contemplate you from a safe distance for some time before you make any advances.

More about Child Behavior Pattern During Photography

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