Here are a few photos from an impromptu shoot of a friend’s son and a few tips on how to achieve similar results.

Outdoor settings provide the best backgrounds for childrens’ portraits. Use natural light and look for open shade whenever possible. Feel free to wait until golden hour to shoot into the sun to obtain that dreamy, ethereal glow.

The best way to capture natural-looking portraits of children is to observe them with a quick shutter finger. If direction needs to be given, do so in limited segments and make sure the direction is concise and simple. If you need more time to get your shot, ask a question like, “can you show me that again?”

Incorporating photography into playtime won’t make the session feel like work for either party. We hunted for worms, picked flowers and played with trucks. Then we shot photos with mom + dad. :)

Another tip (if you have control over wardrobe): make sure the child isn’t wearing something distracting, like a shirt with a lot of wording or an obtrusive logo.

For these shots I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm 1.4 lens. I took advantage of the lens’ shallow depth of field capabilities by using low aperture settings. Post-processing was done in Lightroom.

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