Young kids in school uniforms in class with boy holding his mouth at Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ecuador

I Mastered Patience Photographing Kids

By Sheri Oneal

I love to photograph kids!  When I opened my studio in Florida back in 1996 I was privileged to pick up accounts with book publishers Harcourt-Brace and Scholastic Book Fairs.  Kids became 80% of what I photographed almost every day for many years.  Due to limited budgets and the volume of work, we often used average kids who had no modeling experience and I learned quickly that I would need to master patience and kid communication.  I found that when shooting photos of the smaller kids I would sometimes have to explain in detail on a very elementary level in order for them to understand what I needed them to do.

Since moving to Nashville in 2001 I have not had much of an opportunity to photograph kids because the photography market is so different than it was in Orlando.  I miss that opportunity these days and look forward to when I have the chance to test my patience and kids always make me laugh!  I love how beautiful and flawless their skin looks and the glow it can radiate in a photograph.  One unique observation I have found with photographing kids is the size of their eyes. Kids have big eyes in proportion to their faces compared to adults. Because of that if set up right their photographs can be uniquely stunning, not to mention the importance of youth only lasts a short time so capturing that in a photograph makes them timeless.

Working with kids is challenging but also rewarding. There is a delicate balance in getting them to cooperate in front of the camera and they have to be on your side from the beginning or you will lose their attention depending on their age. Photographing kids over the years has taught me patience and that has carried over to all of the other areas of my work!

This is Sophie, she is as many kids are…very talented.  Her biggest love is horses and her father Jim hopes to see her become more involved with them over the next year because he supports her love as good parents often do.  She rides and helps out at a local horse farm when she can, around her school schedule.  Jim wanted some family portraits because he felt his little girl was growing up too fast so we set up a simple backdrop so the focus would be on dad and daughter.  I love that Sophie looks mature in how she carries herself yet she is still a child.

As I go remember to email me or give me a call if you have a project you need help with or if you need corporate or personal photos!  I am looking forward to hearing from you and I am looking forward to spring.  The warmer weather brings with it lots of color here in Nashville so let’s plan your next shoot outside!  I will be back with new images to share soon!

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