Letting the kids call the shots

Updated: Jan 3

3 years ago I was a residential photographer on a camp in the USA. I took 20,000 images over the course of 2 months and spent hours behind the camera trying to make genuine connections with the kids in front of it. By the end of the camp, I had become desensitised to the feeling of getting the shots I needed because I was drained from living the camp experience through the lens.

However, my efforts were all worth it when one camper, who had originally shied away from having his photo taken, came up to me and told me that he wanted me to take his photo! 🗣

I was so used to kids demanding their photo! However, this camper asked me not to take photos of him whilst I photographed around the camp. So I listened to his wishes and took a step back to lower the barrier between us. So whenever I was assigned to his group, instead of photographing him, I showed him the camera functions instead and let him try it out for himself. I could see that he learnt a different perspective and was brave enough to have his photo taken - I couldn't believe it. It was amazing to see him come out of his shell by the end of it and I'm happy I was part of that process. 😄

Photographing children and families can be challenging when this is the case, but the most important thing is that the child feels they are comfortable and safe. My process in photographing families and young children is, first and foremost, to become comfortable with the family and develop trust with the children. Photos turn out 1000x better when the kids are relaxed and happy to be themselves in front of the lens so the effort is always worth it!

I am a BS checked family photographer and am always happy to answer any queries you may have about photographing your family, feel free to contact me here.

See more of the young portraits here.

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