Are children more difficult to photograph than adults?
Yes and no. Here are several simple rules:
For toddlers and infants, time of day is very important. Most young children are better in the morning. If a child has a regular nap schedule, it's wise to work around it.
At six months, children reach a milestone. Most babies are able to sit up by themselves and they have a wider range of expressions. This is why we usually recommend making the first portraits at six months.
Many children are afraid of new environments. You can ease their anxiety by talking to them about having their picture beforehand. It's also a good idea to have both parents there to make the child feel more secure. We recommend doing a few family portraits first to let the child know that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Have realistic expectations. Young children have a short attention span and get tired more quickly than adults. Some children get restless and cranky if they are forced to sit for too long. Most toddlers lose patience after two clothing changes. Although we schedule an hour for the portrait session, many children will only sit for a fraction of that time.
Dress your child from head to toe. Children are physically active and constantly moving. For this reason, it's almost impossible to shoot close-ups because they move out of the frame. Usually, it's necessary to shoot them full length.
Change into dressy clothes when you arrive at the studio. If you're planning on having some casual portraits and some dressy portraits, wear the casual clothes to the studio and change into the dressy clothes here.
Robert D. Bachrach
Washington, D.C. Area
New York, NY