Tips for Photographing Shy Children -Washington, DC Family Photographer

“Photos should let you take a glimpse into a soul.”

Shy children just have a way to my heart. When they are bashful and can hardly make themselves look at me, it makes me want to help relax and move them into a comfortable zone that they can let you see into their soft and sensitive hearts. The photos below are a few of my favorite as a photographer. I was a bit nervous for this session. You see, I know this little girl so well. I sit her once a week and it took her weeks to gain her trust. She’s shy, introverted and does NOT like cameras. Her mother booked a session with me for a present for her father…so sweet! During any session it’s so important for a photographer to read personalities and respond to help make clients comfortable.

I talked to her quietly and asked if she could look at the camera for just one second…and we got this! Anyone can look at this and see a pretty photo, but when her Mama looks at this, it’s priceless! I wanted to share with you a few things I do to help gain their trust and create beautiful photographs.

  • Say their name. Even more than kind words, hearing your name creates a connection. I try to find ways to incorporate their name several times within the first few minutes.
  • Ask them what their favorite animal is and then ask them (if it’s a lion) to roar. It takes their mind off of being nervous and makes them relax, usually resulting in a smile.
  • Have them stay near Mom and Dad for awhile. I get them to snuggle, or hold hands and walk with their parents before asking them to stand by themselves.
  • Have a small reward ready. I typically have a small mint or snickers handy if they feel shy. I’ll place the sticker in their hand-you can’t see it but it makes them feel special.
  • Make yourself as least intimidating as possible. A big camera can look scary to a timid child, I ask them to look (or find)  the “big eye”. They almost always look straight at me and giggle.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Remember, the way we treat the small children we photograph is truly a big hug to our clients and they won’t forget it. <3

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