Tips & Tricks from Michael Kormos

Guest Post from Michael Kormos, a family photographer in San Diego. With an eye for candid moments and unique perspectives, he works side-by-side with his wife to create images that are fresh, emotional and fun. They have two young children who keep them very busy and constantly inspired.

Capturing the essence of a child requires passion, patience and a quick shutter! A little girl collecting daisies in a field, a little boy splashing in puddles, two sisters sharing secrets; these fleeting and precious moments can be cherished forever with the perfect shot. Here are some tips and tricks to help capture breathtaking and meaningful photographs of little ones …

Location, Location, Location. The first step is choosing a fun setting that gets children excited and eager to explore. Crowded areas can be distracting for young children, so we try our best to find areas that are quiet and secluded. Grassy fields, sandy beaches, boardwalks or forest paths are some of our favorite settings for beautiful portraits. Oftentimes, the environment itself will allow for a variety of fun activities such as running through grass, picking flowers, drawing in the sand or collecting seashells.

Fun Activities. Capturing those natural moments means getting children to forget they’re being photographed. Childhood isn’t about stiff poses and awkward smiles. Encourage children to skip, jump, dance and twirl (not all at once, of course!). Once they’re in motion, they’ll let their guard down and their personalities will shine. If you’re working with siblings, have them hold hands and run towards you. This tends to loosen them up and get them in a giggly mood. If siblings are hesitant to hug, have them run toward each other from opposite directions and … crash!

For those intimate moments, give children some space to explore their surroundings and play by themselves. Bringing along a favorite storybook is great way to allow children to get lost in their own little world and a nice trick for getting energetic boys to stay still for more than a minute! There’s nothing better than capturing the joy of childhood as artful imagery.

Creative Perspectives. Meet children eye-to-eye and see the world from their perspective. Crouch, lie on your belly, roll in the grass … do whatever it takes! The viewpoint becomes more intimate and you’ll get to capture children’s adorable facial expressions at the center of the composition. If there are lots of distracting elements in the background, try approaching from a different angle. Photographing top-down or down low are generally great ways to eliminate distractions.

It’s All in the Details. As with any good story, the depth is in the subtle nuances. The little toes curled up in excitement, the twinkle in their eyes, the little hands clasped tightly around a favorite teddy bear … even the moody pout. The tiniest of details has the power to bring back a flood of memories and emotions.

Enjoy Yourself. Allow yourself to truly be in the moment. Children are extremely perceptive and they know when your heart isn’t in it. Play peek-a-boo together, stomp around, sing silly songs, make funny faces and dance like nobody’s watching. Laughter is contagious, so the most important tip is to just have fun! Don’t worry about getting the “perfect picture” because the best images generally happen when you least expect it. Photography should be about sharing an enjoyable experience, while capturing the magic of childhood!

Check out the Kormos’ amazing work here: or

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