We love nothing better than seeing our kiddos all wrapped up in our knits, and we usually have our cameras at the ready! We’ve always photographed our kids in our knits, so if you want to take some fun and fab (and a little cheesy) pics of wee ones, we have a suggestion or two on how to make it work.
Here are our top nine tips for capturing beautiful photos of kids in knits. These pearls of wisdom have been polished up through years (and tears), so take notes!
1. Don’t ask kids to smile…it’s always suspect
The photographic evidence speaks for itself. Half the time, kids smile without being asked, but when you DO ask them? Well…just don’t expect top results!
2. Bring props
A good ‘esthetically inoffensive’ toy or two can keep the little wrigglers still long enough for you to capture the goods. We like neutral coloured blocks and toys, but any bit of junk will work!
Flowers, sticks, leaves, and stones all work, too. Just make sure to keep it safe because there’s nothing more parent-guilt-inducing than your kids’ hurting themselves while you’re snapping away behind a camera. (I’ve been there; I know!).
3. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
I like to set my camera to ‘rapid fire’ mode, especially with babies. Little ones don’t maintain the same facial expression for more than a split second, so you’ve gotta shoot FAST. And for the mood to be really ‘right’, you’ve gotta capture that split-second expression.
4. Keep it short and sweet
Long photoshoots can be taxing on little ones and photographers alike, so I like to keep them short and sweet. I’ll weave a few photoshoots into the regular progression of a lazy weekend or take photos as part of a relaxed holiday – that way they don’t become too overwhelming. As for the sweet part, I like to keep my kids well-sugared for photoshoots. The next time I ask ‘pretty please can we take some pictures today?’, they’re champing at the bit because it’s a treat!
5. Let them roam wild and free
I like to get my kids dressed up in their woollies and some neutral clothes, and then take them out to roam and play at a nearby park or beach. Photoshoots go well when kids are focussed on something other than the camera – and when you as the photographer take your time and watch for the shot. Just let kids play and be kids without any pressure to perform. They’re so beautiful when they’re playing!
6. Avoid embellishments
Kids’ clothes (the ones my kids seem to reach for anyway) tend to be loud, with a metric tonne of sequins, sparkles, logos, graphics, and prints – and always pink, pink, pink. When I take them out to photograph, I cajole my little ones into a select supply of visually inoffensive clothes (which they’d never choose otherwise). I recommend denim, deep solids like black and navy, neutral colours, and tank tops, so the photo isn’t ruined by a neon shirt peeking out from underneath that oh-so-beautiful sweater. This allows the beauty of the kid and the beauty of the knit to shine without distraction.
7. Find simple backdrops
The best photographs draw the viewer’s eye to what’s important. We try to photograph kids against neutral, blurred-out backdrops, and we aim to contrast the backdrop with the model and knit in the foreground.
We find that water, dark rocks, golden grass, sand, driftwood, and stone walls work well as neutral backdrops.
To achieve more of a ‘studio shoot’ aesthetic for our Mad Colour collection, we used industrial, painted walls as backdrops. This kept the images clean and minimalist but allowed us to find colour and contrast to highlight the knits.
8. Bring a wrangler
You (nearly always) need a wrangler…or two. Having another adult around to look out for the safety of the situation is important. It lets me focus on the visuals and helps to keep stress levels manageable. And if I happen to be photographing only one of the kids, I’ll usually bring the other along as a playmate. The older kids get, the more they’re willing and able to follow directions, but Alexa and I love the simple authenticity of playful toddlers.
9. Use a neutrally dressed adult as prop or backdrop
Your wrangler may also serve as prop or backdrop! If you can convince them to wear some neutral clothing that won’t clash with the knit, that’s another win.
So there you have it! Our nine tips for a great photoshoot with some happy, woolly clad children.
We’d love to hear any secrets you may have. Add a comment to share your tips for photographing wriggly kidlets!