How to take portraits of mother and child

  • When photographing children it is often a good idea to include their mother. She is usually the closest person to the child and the best suited to allay its fears and put it at ease, and help it to adopt the best position.
     

  • Use a photographer’s eye to look for the best viewpoint and lighting to show the natural bond between mother and child. As in any situation when photographing more than one person, be careful that the mother’s head does not cast a shadow on the child’s face.
     

  • If working indoors try to use available light. This will be less distracting to the child, which may be alarmed if flash is used. If flash is necessary, soften the light as much as possible. This can be done by bouncing the light off a suitable surface such as white ceiling or board. Alternatively put a diffuser over the light. This can be tracing paper or even a handkerchief. Take care here not to underexpose the photograph. If the mother and child are sitting by a window, a reflector can be used to throw some natural light back on them.
     

  • When working out of doors make sure that neither the mother nor child gets cold. Not only is it uncomfortable for the, but they might be shown with red hands and dripping noses.
     

  • Above all, be aware that most children can only concentrate for a short time. This may mean working quickly. Conversely, a good deal of patience may be required to catch the child at the best moment.

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