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Get down to their level when shooting kids


Pictures taken from the same height as the child's eyes have a more natural look.
Pictures taken from the same height as the child's eyes have a more natural look.

Pictures of children (and of small pets or even insects) have a more natural look when they are taken from the subject’s height. This may mean getting on your knees, perhaps even on your hands and knees, or flat on your stomach for the really little ones.

HOW LOW SHOULD YOU GO?

Eye level is the answer. Your camera should be the same distance from the ground as your young subject's eyes. Often, your child will react more positively for your pictures simply because you're on his or her level and, although this would be a bonus, the main reason is one of perspective. Camera angle has a big impact on the succcess of your pictures.


PERSPECTIVE IS THE KEY

You want the same perspective that you would use in shooting an adult. Rarely would you get on a stepladder or a roof to shoot an older person’s portrait, so don’t normally take children’s pictures while you are towering over them.

CAN'T GET DOWN? RAISE THE CHILD

Of course, you can also elevate the child to your level by using a high chair or other safe device, providing its height and confines don’t impact their mood or restrict natural movement too much. But usually, you are better off getting down to where they are, since you are "entering" their world by doing so. And in their world, they act more like themselves, which is generally how you want your pictures to portray them.

If you shoot from slightly lower, the picture will be just as good, perhaps even better.
If you shoot from slightly lower, the picture will be just as good, perhaps even better.