1. Get the eyes in focus:
This is so important. Set up your camera with the centre of the viewfinder on the child's eyes, partially depress the shutter button (to get the camera to focus), then keep the shutter button pressed down halfway and recompose your photo. Press the button down fully to take the shot. This should ensure that the eyes are kept in sharp focus.
|f/5.3, 1/60, 400ISO
2. Choose colour carefully:
Make sure that your child stands out in your photos by having his or her clothing contrast with the background. Keep the background as clean and clutter-free as possible. You can see in this photo that the background blurs and forces you to focus directly on Tana's face.
|Source - Taylor Nicoloff
3. Catch the movement:
Kids move. A lot. You can use a faster shutter speed and freeze their movements (or use the children or sports mode on your auto settings). You can also slow the shutter speed down to get some blurring which is a cool artistic effect like in this photo of 'Hulk Face'.
|f/3.5, 1/15, 1600ISO
4. Make it Fun:
Nothing ruins picture-taking faster than a kid who has had enough. Try to keep the mood upbeat. Ask the child to make goofy faces to make it more fun. Sometimes having the child help with the camera set-up makes it interesting enough for children to stay tuned longer. I liked this idea from Harry Cutting Photography. He has the children run at him making them giddy and silly which in turns gives him lively and fun photos. In this photo, just letting the boys stand on the rock was enough to keep their interest a little longer and made for a kind of neat photo.
|f/2.8, 1/200, 200ISO