Children Portraits: Backyard Fun Photo tips

This is one of my absolute favorite people.  He's a rambunctious four year old that has a hard time sitting still for more than two seconds even when he's sleeping. So I knew these images were going to be a challenge but here's a few tips that helped: 

1.  Give them something to do.  In this case it was super simple I got a stool and had his sit on it.  There was no arms, no back and so he knew if he goofed off too much he was going to fall off.  It helped keep him in one place.  

2. Let them be goofy.  I know you want the perfect little smiling angel with a straight back and an innocent sincere smile....I'm not sure that is in every kids DNA and when you force it you get them looking fake stiff and it's miserable. So go ahead and let him pull a few faces and act a little silly and keep that camera rolling as he goes and you will be surprised how many good un silly ones you get. 

3. Keep them talking.  I like to ask questions favorite color, books, toys, movies etc.  Anything that help them focus less on the camera and more on being themselves. And if the question takes a few seconds to answer then you have a few seconds little boy holding almost perfectly still.