Since our first son Robert was born, I've learned a ton about shooting children but most importantly:
#1 - Always have a camera ready.
#2 - Expect the unexpected.
That really sums it up, they are so much fun but so challenging at the same time. You can't exactly pose children or even expect them to be in the same place from one second to the next. And there are soo many other factors to take into account that can make a few snapshots turn into an afternoon from hell. Who would have thought naptime or a hungry belly could turn a sweet little angel into a demon child? That's just one of the reasons I'm thankful I've made the move to small flashes for my shoots. It really offers me the ability to work fast and flexible.
This ability came in handy when my friend asked me to shoot their four month old son. He's such a cute little guy with bright blue eyes and a tranquil demeanor. For some reason on this particular day he would not sit still and he didn't want to lay down or be held! It's not that he was unhappy or anything, he just didn't want to cooperate with what WE wanted him to do! Very unusual for this little boy but par for the course when shooting children. Being able to shoot fast and light really helped.
I started off with grand ideas, set up a large umbrella and creating a nice scene on the couch. This didn't work out well because he just didn't want to sit. I adjusted to try to give myself a little more working room by moving my main light to an overhead position and added a little fill with an Orbis ring flash adaptor. This didn't work out either so I decided to move in close with a Lumoquest Softbox III held by daddy and came up with the shots below. I'm pretty happy with the results and love the pop of his eyes. Really I just had to be adaptable.
As a bonus, I got this great shot of their daughter as her dad walked by with the flash and umbrella. It's funny, no matter how much I plan and setup, some of my fav pictures are made completely by accident.