Ever wondered how some mums manage to get their kids to put their best model face forward and look like they were born to be in front of the camera? The truth is that no child is born a model, and more often than not, behind those angelic looking faces you see on magazines or Instagram is a mum who knows more than just a few tricks of how to get their little ones to cooperate and strike a pose, and we’ve managed to get some of them to share their secrets.
#1 Keep the sessions short
No matter what age they are kids have a short attention span so limit how long you spend taking their photo each time for the best results, says Marissa, mum to Cassandra and Noel (@rustlitwins). For her, that magic number is ten minutes.
If you don’t get a good photo within the stipulated time, don’t force your kids to continue shooting – you won’t get a good shot and will more likely than not end up with a grumpy kid.
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#2 Be flexible and keep calm
Sometimes even if you keep it short, your kid may not be in the mood to shoot. That do you do in such situations? Keep calm and let it be. “If you start to get cranky, your toddler will sense it and you’ll have to handle a full-blown meltdown before you know it,” shares Marissa.
#3 Keep on clicking
If you think that one click is all it takes to get a good photo, think again. Even for seasoned kids, their mums take multiple shots to get that one photo that ultimately makes it to Instagram. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t get good shots with one click. Take 10 or even hundreds of pictures, and from there select the best few,” says May Ong, whose sons Ryan and Ryo often show up on her instagram account (@mayo923).
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#4 Be strategic as to when you shoot
To prevent meltdowns, always pick the right time to shoot them. Mum Kerry Seymour, the best times to take photos of her little girl Piper, who has 45,500 followers on Instagram (@pipersienna) is in the morning and afternoons, have she has had plenty of rest. However, even then “if she’s not in the mood, then it’s not worth getting the camera out.” For Zeon Chong (@zee_league) that magic timing is when her two boys Zac and Zeph have been well-fed and are rested, otherwise she doesn’t start snapping.
#5 Natural light is your best friend
If you want to get a good shot, natural light gets you the best photos, and it is worth getting out of bed earlier for. If you are shooting indoors, Kerry suggests moving them near a window where there is light streaming in. “This will help you catch the light in their eyes,” she says.
#6 Shoot against a clean backdrop
Even if your little one can pose like a pro, the photo won’t turn out good if there’s lots going on in the background, Hence, where possible, always ensure that there aren’t other people or multiple object in the background. Rowena Foo, owner of local modelling agency, Diva Models, shares that for casting photos in particular, the backdrop should be plain and kids should put on simple, plain attire.
The clean background rule doesn’t just apply to casting photos. “If you’re using a plain backdrop, the focus is on your subject and plain backgrounds will make them stand out more,” says mum-of-two Wendy who posts multiple pictures of her children Hayley and Finley on Instagram (@wendology).
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#7 Sing or play their favourite songs as you shoot
Hearing the music that they like always puts little ones in a good mood. Zeon agrees that music is the way to go: “Kids love music and you usually get some cute photos when they are busting their moves.” May employs the same strategy when capturing Ryan and Ryo as they are always happy to hear their favourite tunes and this adds “extra oomph” to the poses they make.
Extra tips for shooting babies
The above tips work for infants too, but here are a few extra tips for when want to take photos of your babies soon after they are born. Russian photographer and mum, Elena Shumilova (@elena_shumilova) shared with diyphotography.net that mums are actually the best people to take photos of their babies as they are with them 24 hours and will know “when he cries and when he doesn’t.” Put that knowledge to use and snap away according to your parenting instinct, she says.
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Shoot according to the baby’s mood, says Malaysian children’s photographer Vincent Lim in an interview on kaodim.com. For example if the baby wants to sleep, take photographs of him sleeping – they actually look very peaceful when they do. He also shares that taking photos of newborns is generally much easier during the first three weeks of their lives. By the time they turn one to two months old, they tend to be more awake and a little more difficult to capture.
You should also try shooting your baby from different angles and perspectives to get different types of shots, especially since they don’t move too much in the first few months after birth. Need more ideas? Do what popular Instagram mum and photographer Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) did and get creative by dressing your baby up as he or she sleeps.
Put the above tips to good use when you take part in the Newborn Pure #BabyFaceSG contest. All you need to do is snap a picture, upload it and get friends, family and the public to vote. The winner of Newborn Pure #BabyFace 2017/18 will be featured on the cover of LiveWell Baby magazine and awarded with a year-long contract with Pigeon. Head over to www.babyface.sg for more information.
This article was brought to you by Pigeon Newborn Pure.