Elena Shumilova is a Russian photographer who became an online sensation just a couple of years after picking up the camera first time.
Her photos of children have an unusual peace and natural look in them. In this article and video she is sharing her most important tips for photographing children.
#1. How to get your kids to look natural, not “posed”
So you catch your kids in the perfect moment — they’re outside playing and laughing, the lighting is just right, and you see this perfect picture you want to capture. You rush to get out your camera, but then…
They see the camera. They stiffen up. They start posing. The moment is lost.
What do you do?
When photographing children, the single most important thing is to photograph them often — every day.
You can’t just do it sporadically, or they’ll freeze up as soon as the camera comes out. Consistency is key. That way they’ll be comfortable around the camera.
It’s these everyday scenes that you want to capture — the ones you’ll remember best when they grow up.
To get the most genuine photos, I try to catch them in the moment — when they’re playing with each other and have completely forgotten about the camera.
2. The types of clothes that work the best
I follow a pretty simple rule: clothes shouldn’t be distracting. They shouldn’t take attention away from what’s happening in the photo.
For such a simple rule, it’s harder to follow than you might think. Kids’ clothes today are designed to grab your attention—with bright colors, cartoon characters, and writing all over them. In photographs, all this takes attention away from your kids.
When I started pursuing photography seriously, I actually replaced all their outfits. This took quite a while to do, but now I know that anything I pull from their closet won’t interfere with the photo.
3. How to best capture kids of different ages
A lot of parents have asked me about this photo — how did you get your one-month-old to look so calm? Infants are notoriously difficult to photograph because they’re often crying or fidgeting.
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