Children photography portraits are a beautiful way to capture a time that will quickly pass, a time that you don’t want to forget. Your children’s photos puts the memories that will quickly fade, into picture form, making it easier to share and celebrate with family!
Sometimes it’s hard as a parent to have the energy or the resources to capture your own little one. More over, it’s hard to get that specific look that represents who they are and the love that you feel towards them.
Even with the latest technology, the art in photographing children comes down to experience, tricks, energy, and stamina!
You can learn alot about your child during their photo session, as well as knowing just how capable your photographer really is. Children photography is both challenging yet very rewarding!
Locations for Children sessions
When choosing a location for you child’s photos, it’s best to consider a few things.
- Are they old enough to be photographed outside?
- Is the weather the appropriate temperature for your child’s session?
- Is the time of year best for outdoor sessions, including the look of the ground they’ll be standing on?
- Do outdoor locations tend to distract your child?
If your child is under the age of 6 months, it’s best to take the child photography indoors. Most times babies and children are going to be standing or laying on the ground. This depends on their age, but in both cases you don’t want the ground to be cold or muddy.
The best time of year for outdoor child photography
Hands down the best time of year for children photography starts after the spring bloom in May, all the way up to the fall season. During this timeframe the ground is typically dry, is softened with grass, and is typically not muddy. Because children are constantly running and playing on the ground, this is where we photograph them. Outdoors can be messy if it’s not the right time of year.
To pose or not to pose
I choose to do both if possible, but the best photos come from the unposed or candid shots. This is a way to capture you child’s world at their eye level, seeing what it’s like for them to be in play mode! Children’s photography captures a unique viewpoint that you can experience and remember, even as they grow older.
Posing tends to be difficult for children, and it’s important that they stay comfortable during their children’s session. If we ask too much on your child, they may get frightened and not enjoy the experience. Kids who aren’t enjoying an experience will show this, and it’s important to follow a few guidelines for best results.
- Don’t put undue pressure on your child to perform for photos. This brings them anxiety.
- Do let them have fun! Play with toys, explore the studio or park, and get them to relax.
- Let them run, and make sure they have the shoes for it. Kids have energy and need to get it out, especially after a car ride.
- Bring snacks, but don’t tempt with sugary things. Kids need food, and enjoy a dry snack, but sugary messes get sticky and can bring high and lows to your children, during and after you children photography session.
What time of day should my child’s photos to be taken?
Nap time is always a force to be reckoned with! If your child has a consistent naptime, it’s very important that we schedule around this naptime, so not to disturb their cycle! If they are changing or shifting their nap time, this can get a little more complicated, but you can always take a few steps to get them to nap before the session. A good meal and a car ride can often put little ones to sleep, and when they wake, I find that they are happy and ready to participate in the photography session! If they are just getting ready to nap, when they arrive for their session, they will start to be cranky and we may even need to reschedule. Plan ahead!
Children Photography in downtown Chicago
One of the great locations in Chicago for your children’s photo session would be the Lincoln Park Zoo in downtown Chicago. While there are many locations in the local and surrounding areas, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a permit free, free entrance location that has both skyline views, gardens, flowers, bridges, and water, all wrapped up in a single place. Each season of the year can bring a new look.
I suggest this zoo for the above reasons, but also for the fact that after you’ve spent time hunting for parking, you can spend the day at the zoo with your child. Make it a day trip! Visit the amazing areas of the zoo and see all the fun and exciting animals. While I don’t photograph inside the actual zoo, I do recommend visiting it after your session! This becomes and amazing experience for your child: They get to go to the zoo after getting their photos take!
Booking a Children’s Session
Book early! You’ll want to reach out about a month or two before your desired session date. This gives you time to let me know what your child’s nap schedule will be. We’ll work around their naptime and ensure they’ll be happy.
Earlier means better timeframes! If you reach out a few months in advance, you’ll find that the weekend or weekdays that you would like to schedule on will have a better time frame available to book in. This is especially beneficial when your child has a very specific naptime that you need to watch out for!
Lastely, book for a milestone. You’ll want to capture something new and exciting in your little one’s life. This may be sitting up, standing, standing on their own or walking, maybe even learning to jump! These big moments in your child are a fantastic reason to schedule a children’s photography session so you won’t forget the beauty and excitement of these moments.
I am a Chicago child photographer that provides studio and on-location sessions using both studio lighting and soft natural light. I provide scenic and contemporary locations in and around Chicago. View my children photography session samples in my Children gallery!