I’ve had one of those shoots where am required to photograph kids and I must admit at first the ordeal was an uphill task. Photographing kids is not like any other kind of photography especially if the kids in question are the nervous type. Indeed most kids are uncooperative and this is understandable since their curiosity cannot keep them still until you are done taking good photos. The only way to take any photos when photographing nervous kids is knowing how to interact with them in a manner that will make them feel accommodated around you. Here are some tips you could try out to improve your skills at photographing nervous kids.
Put down the camera
The biggest mistake you could make while photographing nervous kids is to bump into them and request they pose for some photos. You need to take some minutes with them to create trust. Keep your camera away to spend time with the kids playing for about 20 minutes and you will be surprised that they will feel better around you, which then makes your work easier as you won’t have to ask them to be in the right position every time while taking the photos.
Show them the photos you are taking
Another strategy that works most of the time is letting the kids be part of the session. A simple act like showing them the photos you have taken of them will motivate them to pose for more. I tried this many times and it appears to be the most important strategy that helps me to get the attention of the kids without having to coerce them to do so. In fact they will be demanding for more once you introduce them to the session with showing how they look in photos.
Unlike adults, children have a short attention span and depending on the things in the environment that appear interesting to them, you could have to struggle before they turn their focus to you. One of the ways you could attract their attention is by creating a distraction that will have them focus on what you are doing. Introduce something new that will tempt the kids to look in your direction and with this opportunity you could get away with several shots. This will allow you to deal seamlessly with nervous and rebellious kids.
If guilt won’t consume you afterwards, bribe them
Well, you could have a different view of parenting and the things to teach kids, and in this case I think bribing them often would not be part of things you imagine doing. However, if you are doing kids photography and their nervousness prevents you from shooting, you could for once bribe them using something like a cookie, just to grab their attention and to win their loyalty for the time you will be taking the photos. However, this is not a blueprint that says any kid will appreciate it, but you could try it anyway.