Great photographers spend a fair amount of time perfecting techniques that capture the individual personality of their subjects. One of my favorite ways to photograph children, especially toddlers and pre-teens, is to catch them in candid moments when they don’t know I’m taking their picture.
Toddlers are notoriously wiggly or performing for the camera – and pre-teens… well, they’re different, although much the same! Next time you’re taking pictures of your children at the zoo or at a birthday party, try focusing on them when they’re not looking, avoiding posing them or telling them to smile… and you may be very pleased with the results!
Another technique I use for moving subjects, including wildlife (and toddlers… and pre-teens) is to utilize my camera’s burst function, which takes several photos in quick succession. Over-using this can result in a LOT of photos to sort through, but it can also be a good way to capture small details you may not have noticed as you were just trying to get the shot.