If you look at most photographs of children that are made by amateurs, you’ll notice that most are made looking down on – or shooting down on the child. This perspective isn’t flattering for most kids, and distorts the world view of children. Shooting down on something takes away its power. If you want to get on equal footing with a child, something in my opinion that you need to do if you’re really going to capture their essence, shoot at their eye level. They’ll be less intimidated by you towering over them and you can just both relax and have fun.
Notice that I am sitting on the ground with my subject, Natalie. I am wearing my silly floppy hat so I can make fun of myself and take the child’s attention away from the camera. The image above was selected by Natalie’s mother as her favorite.
The next time you photograph a child, take time to get down on the ground with the child. It may mean the difference between a cliche and a winning portrait.