The Everyday Portrait ~ Photographing Children [with Special Needs]

Today’s guest post is by the lovely and passionately inspiring Tracey Clark, photographer, writer, mom and founder of Shutter Sisters.

When Melody asked me to share a few tips for photographing children I couldn’t refuse. I love to share thoughts, ideas and lots and lots of photos.

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Although taking great pix of our children is not rocket science, it is an art and like any creative process, practice (and some guidance) gets you closer to perfect. We all get lucky sometimes and the more we shoot, the better our chances of getting that one classic shot but being able to dial it in consistently is what most moms are striving for.

To capture the best photos of our children, it’s important that they are comfortable and relaxed. This can be especially true for special needs kids. This is why most of the time, shooting in the comfort of our own homes is the best place to start.

To shoot stellar images around your home, you must get to know your home photographically. What room offers the best light, at what time of day and can you get away without using the flash (which is optimal)? What backgrounds of your home make for good photo backdrops and how well does your camera do shooting in the different rooms of your home? If you can crack the code on these questions (and let me tell you they are not hard to crack, it’s just trial and error) then you can slowly master better everyday photos of your children.

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We all know when our kids are happiest; with their favorite books, games, snacks, jokes, songs, etc. If you use what you know about your kids and work it into how you know your home, you can put them together for a winning combination.

It’s as simple as keeping your camera handy as you sit down to play with your child. Pick their favorite game, find a corner of your home with the best natural soft light, set things up there, get down on their level and begin. Don’t talk about taking photos. Don’t tell your kids to smile. Just play. Enjoy the lovely light. Laugh, talk, and connect with your child. And snap some photos as you do. You’ll both have a great time together and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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And remember, the more you bring your camera along at playtime, the less disruptive your clicking will become and the more comfortable you and your child will be with these magical everyday portrait sessions.

Tracey Clark
Shutter Sisters

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