As they get older, kids get easier and easier to photograph. It’s so nice to be able to tell them, “Ok, sit here, on this rock, and put your hands in their lap.” Typically, kids listen and will do what you ask. Sometimes you have to actually get down and show them what you mean, but they usually get it after that.
With bigger kids, you can do so much more, simply because there’s less risk of them falling off the rock like you would with an infant or toddler. It’s still a good idea to keep a parent close, just for safety’s sake.
With older kids, I still love closeups. As they lose teeth and get new teeth, it’s a great way to document how much they change. Other fun shots are to include things that are important to them. If they’re all about being a princess, let them be a princess. If they are obsessed with baseball or soccer, incorporate the sports into the shot. They’ll be cooperative if you make it fun for them!
Also, remember to get down on their level, and don’t be afraid to try different angles or tight crops. Another fun thing to try is if you camera has a continuous shooting mode to use it. This is a fun way to build a story board – and sometimes the second or third shot can be better than the first or second! Another tip for taking a photo of children: Ask them to do something goofy – get a photo of it, but make sure you also get the moment right after they do that. They’ll react with a laugh or a natural smile, and you’ll get a photo that you’ll treasure forever!