As we plunge headlong into another holiday season
you may want to photograph your kids. Maybe you want
to use your new camera or your new phone and the kids
happen to be handy. Maybe you want to photograph them to
preserve the wonderful memories of the season. Maybe you want
to photograph them because they are the most beautiful children
ever to inhabit our universe, and you love them more than life itself.


Whatever your rationale there are two things most parents should do
when photographing their children. First of all let the kids be kids. Try not
to direct them and don’t try to make them smile. Countless great photos
have been lost forever by children in the midst of an activity who
were forced to stop and smile for the camera.


I’m sure there are some adults out there who think I’m one of the
rudest humans alive because I cannot tolerate it when adults try to
make chidren,’’SMILE’’ while I’m shooting. I’m very patient, but in utter
frustration once I told a teacher I wouldn’t tell him how to teach fourth
grade and he should never again interfere with a child I was
photographing. Okay, I may also have called him an ass and
I’m probably still on double super secret probation with a blot
on my permanent record!


Remember you care about the photographs. The children usually don’t.
They want to eat their sweets. Open their gifts. Sing their songs.
Stare in wonder at the decorations, and play with their toys. Let them do
their thing and photograph them when they’re too engrossed to
notice you or your camera. Take your time, be patient and you’ll get
really great photos.