Are you taking kids headshots and looking for magical tips so the kids cooperate and smile? Child headshots can be easy and fun –> learn how.
Maybe your child is modeling and you need the best headshots you can get! Your kids may need dance headshots or you’d like to learn tips to just help kids cooperate in general when it comes to taking their pictures. I get it…either way I can promise that these tricks and tips will help you create magical headshots!
Child model photography has become a much higher demand which means you have to step up your game and get the BEST headshots you can to showcase. You want your kids headshots to shine and catch attention all while showcasing the childs personality at it’s best. So here’s my best tips for you in hopes you can do just that…
1- Use natural lighting
Many don’t have access to an entire studio lighting set up. If you don’t, there is no need to worry – natural light can be just as beautiful if not even more beautiful! Use natural light indoors by being close to windows or doors. If you have access to great natural indoor lighting – be sure to have the child face the light source.
Another words be sure the child is facing the window/door where the light is entering in. Otherwise just step outside in the early morning or late afternoon lighting – to avoid shadows on the face and dark eyes. Again have the child face the direction in which the sunlight is coming from. If done in the middle of the day it will “blind” the eyes.
2- Eliminate distractions
Check your background. Does it have distractions? Is the background simple, clean and decluttered? Many times just a wall, a simple setting or even creating your own background is a nice asset to a kids modeling portfolio file!
3- Wear the right clothes
Be sure your child is wearing the right clothing when you are taking headshots. Remember the sole purpose of the kids headshots is let the child shine, so wearing simple clothing is always key. An outfit that is distracting, busy, has pictures on it or doesn’t fit within the childs personality – simply put, don’t wear it.
- Avoid busy patterns
- Avoid clothes that have pictures/characters on it
- Go simple
- Choose a color that looks good on the child
- Choose clothing that compliments the background
- Consider choosing a color that brings out the color in their eyes (this is especially true for blue eyed and green eyed children)
- Avoid bright colors (they don’t photograph well!!)
4- Avoid heavy make-up
Unless your child is 13 or older and you want the look of heavy or artistic make-up…avoid it for your kids. Let their personality shine, let them be kids and let their appearance be their everyday look.
5- Talk the kids before headshots
It never hurts to have a great conversation with the child prior to having pictures taken! Talk to them about what the setting will be, what you expect of them, practice getting the “real smile” – by finding that phrase that truly makes them smile! Talk to them about having to stay in one position or one spot and being still…again practice this prior to your headshot session!!! Practice makes perfect…when you practice perfect, right?
Talking to the child prior to having their pictures taken helps them mentally prepare for what is coming – usually their behavior will be cooperative. Vonie Poyey Photography even goes so far to say don’t bribe your kids and don’t give them sugar the day of your headshot session!!!
6- Choosing the right time for pictures
Depending on the age of the kids, choose a time that for headshots that fits better into their daily routine. Don’t choose smack dab in the middle of nap time (if they are still nappers!) Don’t choose an evening when they’ve had a full week and full day. You want them in their best mood and behavior – choose what’s best to avoid any extra cranky-ness!
7- Get the best headshot pose
So you maybe wondering how on earth do you pose a child for a headshot! Glad you asked! This is where #4 comes in handy…practice being still!
With that said – a classic headshot definition is this- “A head shot or headshot is a modern portrait in which the focus is on the person.” Your pose in order to be classic is traditionally mid chest and up and giving some space above the head.
8- Focus on the eyes
Any portrait pictures or headshot you want to make sure that the eyes of the subject are tack sharp. If you need more help with attaining the idea of the subjects eyes being in focus read more here –> How to get Tack Sharp Eyes in Pictures
9- Be expressive
Don’t be afraid to try different expressions with the kids. This could be fun, light hearted, showcase their personality and the kids headshots will truly shine!
10- Quality is Important
If you are taking the kids pictures yourself avoid a cell phone – even though they take great pictures, the quality isn’t there like a DSLR camera is. Make sure your DSLR camera also has a good lens in order to help you attain a tack sharp image with superb quality.
11- Relax and have fun
As always relax and have fun. This will let the kids relax and have fun…will get them in a more natural appearance and will help you love their portrait headshots even more!
Best of luck – feel free to leave a comment if you are struggling or need help with getting the perfect headshots of your kids!