What are Differences Between Infant and Children's Photography?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2020
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There are three major differences between infant and children's photography: close up photos, lighting, and pose options. Successful photo shoots of children in general require more time to prepare equipment and props to have a productive photo session. Ask the parents about nap and feeding times and schedule your photo shoot around these times.

Set your camera to portrait and practice framing the photograph using an adult or a large doll. Infants do not have much patience, so you will need to practice to capture the moment. Focus the shot on one eye and then shift the focal point slightly so that the face is centered. Close up photos with sharp image of the eyes creates a powerful photo.

Infant photography is typically a specialty of commercial photographers. Classes and books are available that provide advice and techniques for obtaining quality images in a very limited period. Professional and amateur photographers alike agree that this is a very challenging type of photography.

Lighting for infant photography studio shots should be as natural as possible. Avoid direct flash as much as possible. It creates shadows on the image and will irritate the child. In many studio photos, the clothing on an infant is minimal to avoid overheating the child. Be prepared to move quickly, as they child may get hot or cold.


For children between two and four years old, change the setting to the action or motion option. Action shots are more common at this age, and capture the spirit of this age. Older children can follow instructions and you can have a combination of portrait and action shots.

Lighting for children's photography shifts slightly so that a flash can be used to capture the activity of the child. Try to take photos outside to capture natural lighting where possible. Be sensitive to their sensitivity to focused bright lights and take breaks in a studio environment.

Infant and children's photography has 20 to 50 standard poses, depending on the age of the child and the type of photo you are looking for. Infant poses are usually divided into sleeping or crawling. This provides the opportunity for independent images where the child is the focus.

As the children get older, the pose options increase. Talk to the parents or the child about their interests. Alternate action poses with portrait shots. Switching between the two keeps the child interested and the focus level high.

Both professional and amateur photographers have noticed a trend towards photography parties for infant photography. The photographer goes to the client’s home or other setting, and over two or three hours takes a large number of candid, posed and action shots. The client can then select the images that he or she wants to purchase.

The benefit of this type of infant photography is the increased opportunity for good photos. The children are in a familiar setting and the parents are calmer. This improves the general mood of the group and can produce relaxed, happy faces and great images.



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