I’m sure there’s a statistic out there about how this generation of children that we’re raising are the most photographed generation so far.
We take 22.7 billion photos of our children a day. Maybe. I don’t know.
Sometimes it can feel like I take far too many photos of my children. I’m not going to stop any time soon, but I know there are times when they get tired of seeing my face hidden behind the camera. There are days when they just don’t want to smile for me and sit still long enough to have their photo taken.
In the photography world those moments when your children are utterly uncooperative in having their photo taken is known as a symptom of ‘photographer’s child syndrome’. And I think this syndrome is spreading as all parents, as well as photographers and bloggers, are asking their children to get in front of the camera more and more.
So this post is for all of you.
The tips you need to know to beat photographer’s child syndrome and get your children to be happy to be photographed again.
Set limits and then stick to them
Yes I’m talking to you with your ‘just one more quick photo’.
If your children aren’t in the mood for taking loads of photos then ask them for just 5 minutes to get the shot you want. Then actually set a timer for 5 minutes, and put the camera down when the 5 minutes are up.
If you always break your word and keep asking to take a few more photos then they’ll never trust you. Stick to your word and they may well be more willing to give you what you want next time.
Get them excited about photography
Let your children get behind the camera now and then to understand what it is about taking photographs that you love so much.
If your children are old enough then show them a bit about the settings on your camera and let them take some photos of you with it. For younger children you might want to keep it simple with a basic point and shoot camera.
Nerys has the Kidizoom duo camera and really loves it. The images aren’t amazing quality, but she can still get creative with it and photograph her world the way she sees it.
Another idea is to use a remote trigger to take photos. Set everything up on the camera and then let your children use the remote to actually take the photos of themselves.
You can also get them involved in the process of taking photos by letting them be the creative directors.
Let them decide where to go to take photos and give them the chance to do whatever crazy poses they want.
Keep them entertained with something new
I love photographing my children when they’re busy doing things.
And if your children are really, really resistant to having their photo taken then giving them something new to do or play with might distract them enough that they don’t even notice you grabbing the camera and snapping a few pictures.
What I love about this approach really though, is that you end up photographing more than just what your children look like.
When you give them a new lego set to build, or a new pack of crayons to colour with, or a new recipe to bake together you have the perfect opportunity to capture memories of them doing the things they love to do at this age.
If your children really are not in the mood to be photographed then just stop. Put the camera down. Try again another day.
On days when they’re happy to have their photo taken but you know their attention span won’t last all that long, then be as quick as you can. Get the photos you want first. Then take a break. Spend time just being with them.
Then if you get the chance you can take some more relaxed candid photos later on.
Try a bit of reverse psychology
If you have more than one child you’ll know how competitive siblings can be at times. So use this to your advantage next time one child isn’t being all that cooperative about having their photo taken.
Tell them that it’s ok, they don’t have to be in the pictures. Then get their brother or sister in front of the camera and make a big show of how much fun you’re having taking photos.
Chances are it won’t be long before they all want to be in on the action.
This also works when you want nice big smiles in your photos. Tell your child that no matter what they do, they are not to smile. You want their grumpiest faces on. No smiles at all. No, not even a tiny smile.
Go overboard with these instructions and it’ll make almost any child start to smile.
Let go and have fun
Let go of your ideas for the perfect photo of your children.
I’ve said this before and it is one of the biggest things for me. So often we have this idea in our head of the pinterest-perfect photos we’re going to take of our children and honestly they almost never work out.
And if we’re not careful we get stressed and snappy and no one has any fun at all.
So take the focus off perfection and on to just having fun.
You may not get the photo that you want, but the photos that you do get will hold so many positive, happy memories for you when you look back on them.
Print your photos
Now this tip is one we all need to take on board in general.
Print your photos.
Don’t leave them to get lonely and lost on your hard drive. Print them out, frame them, stick them on your fridge, put them in good old fashioned photo albums.
One added bonus of having prints around that your children can hold and look at often is that they’ll be more likely to let you take more photos of them in the future. When there is a tangible outcome for them to touch and see, they’ll understand more why you want to take so many photos of them all the time.
How often do you take photos of your children?
Do they ever suffer from photographer’s child syndrome?
If they do then hopefully these tips will help you all get through it!
This post is linked up with KCACOLS with A moment with Franca.