Top Tips: Running Amateur Outdoor Photoshoots with Kids

Patagonia baby and dog

 

Tips I've learnt from running amateur outdoor photo shoots with kids.

 

I’ve been running a few photo shoots recently to collect some fresh images for my website Little Adventure Shop. It’s surprisingly satisfying to see the outdoor clothing we sell on real children! As an online business it can be easy to lose the connection with what you sell as day-to-day you only see your stock flat packed, wrapped in clear plastic bags, in a cardboard box on a warehouse shelf. So running the photoshoots has been both fun and a great reminder of why I set up my business in the first place - to encourage children to stay outdoors and have fun making their own adventures.

 

I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks as I’ve gone along:

  • Timing - I’ve learnt that timing is everything, I don’t mean the technical timing of the actual shots but the time of day you run the shoot. I’ve organised a few shoots too late in the day when the kids were either knackered and grumpy or absolutely bouncing off the walls using the last ounces of energy for the day.
  • Footwear - Wear trainers, you’re going to be on the move
  • Flexibility - Go with the flow, if the children want to throw a ball for the dog, then that’s what your going to photograph if they want to run around like loonies then that’s fine too.
  • No posing - Ask a child to pose and you’ll probably end up with the most ridged boring shot ever
  • Playtime - Don’t be too eager to start snapping, let the kids play and get comfortable with you before you start photographing. Some kids are chomping at the bit to get going whilst others will be a bit more timid and take a while to relax around you.
  • Food - Bring snacks and water for you and the children
  • Siblings - If possible make sure all the siblings are involved, no-one likes being left out.
  • Age range - If you have a range of different aged children focus on getting the shots of the youngest children first.
  • Know when to quit - when the inevitable energy lull comes, don’t try and drag the shoot out, quit while your ahead and everyone is happy.
  • Have fun, don’t get too obsessed with achieving one specific shot, just keep snapping and you’ll get some great shots.