This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
418. Of all phases of photography it would be difficult to select one more fascinating and full of pictorial possibilities than the photographing of children. Certainly there is no subject possessing more innocence and beauty than the child. Child life has formed the basis of studies for many masters of the brush, as well as for photographers. Many professionals so delight in the photographing of children that they have specialized in juvenile portraiture. Character in the child is by no means as pronounced as in the adult, yet its expressions and peculiarities are of far greater variety, and it requires an inherent love for the work in the photographer to reproduce them in a perfectly natural manner.
419. It is not only necessary to produce a photograph, but the mother must be given something to satisfy her knowledge of the characteristics of the child. In viewing the finished picture, it is second nature for the mother to instantly notice to what extent the photographer has reproduced the likeness of the child. If it appears unnatural it cannot be like the original, and the photographer has not secured the natural attitude of the subject.
420. One of the most successful ways of truthfully reproducing the child is to give it something to do. Toys may often be employed to advantage, but each additional article makes the work just that much more difficult, if the desire is to obtain a really good composition. The fewer accessories there are in the picture to detract from the child, the better. Pictures which make the strongest appeal are those expressing action; therefore, the photographer should bear in mind that the reason many child studies frequently do not please is because of failure to successfully select a simple, characteristic pose for his model.
421. Even in adult portraiture sufficient thought is seldom given to securing a true and natural likeness of the-individual. This has become such a common error with some photographers that if anything barely suggesting a characteristic rait of the subject is obtained it is allowed to pass. In photographing children this will not do. The parents must have a picture of the child with natural expression, a picture which actualy shows the little one as it appears in the home. This requires time and patience. Those who have no particular love for children will utterly fail in this work, and should not attempt child portraiture.
422. Patience in the highest degree is essential, because no one knows better when patience has been exhausted than does the child. The least suggestion of an angry look will sometimes momentarily blot the sunshine from the little one's expression, while a smile will often dry a tear. Some children who are full of life and temper may at times become obstinate, but by losing patience you will be only going farther away from the point of securing results. Others are so shy that it is almost impossible to cause them to appear natural. Such children are best managed by being given something to do, or some toy to play with; thus their fear of the strange surroundings frequently may be dispelled completely.