Recently I had a fotoshoot with 2 of my grandnephews. One 3 years old and the other just over 1 year. Working with kids of this age was a new experience for me. Fortunately their mother was present during the shoot. I think this is important because she’s probably the only one who knows how the children react on certain instructions or questions. Another thing that helps to make the kids feel comfortable is to bring some of their favourite toys. I don’t have a problem with taking pictures of the kids playing with their toys.
So here are some of my lessons learned:
- have the mother or father present during the shoot. Both is probably too much (or agree upfront that one of them will be silent);
- have favourite toys available to make the young models feel at home;
- plan the shoot, i.e. think about background, lighting setup, attributes;
- 1-year old children generally don’t pose (yet), so patience is required;
- taking pictures of both (3 years old and 1 year old) requires even more patience,
To create a friendly atmosphere, I planned a bright setup. That is, using a white background and no hard contrasts. I also planned to use full-length images, so the kids would be visible from head to toe. For the occasion I purchased a white background (I only had black) and a new Elinchrom modifier: 135 cm Octa softbox. It gives a very nice soft light (no hard shadows). Better than the 60×60 cm softboxes I have. I also bought a number of second-hand wooden crates. For the kids to sit on or stand behind. The crates also work very well on the white background. Give a nice bit of contrast. If you’re interested in a more technical explanation of the lighting setup, click here. Below you can see a partial result of the shoot. Some of the images that I think are nice.