Every marketer needs a bank of photographs to use for promotional purposes, so grab your digital camera and get ready for a photo shoot. Here are 10 tips for taking good photos of children.

1    Go prepared Keep everything you need – equipment, spare batteries, notepad and pen in a shoulder bag to free up your hands. Make a note of the children you photograph so you can request permission from their parents to print.

2    Allow time Taking good photos takes time and for every good one you get you may have to discard 10 to 20 shots. Award-winning photographer David Otott says that taking photos of children is a little like wildlife photography – it’s up to you to capture the moment.

3    Think about clothing If you have the choice, dress children in solid colours. Busy patterns distract and pale colours blend in. Most school uniforms are a strong colour and stand out well.

4    Consider composition – Let the children act naturally. Avoid putting them in the middle of the frame, and no more than two or three children in a shot.

5    Be aware of the background Look out for posts sticking out of heads, unwanted signage, extraneous bodies, out of date equipment that should have been retired years ago. Try to get a school crest in the photo somewhere, on some clothing or in the background.

6    Look at the lighting Bright sunny conditions do not produce good pictures. The middle of the day is not good either. Best conditions are overcast, but bright. Lighting that comes from the side works well. Pointing your lens at bright light tricks the camera light meter and photos come out dark so keep the light behind or beside you.

7    Keep it fun It’s much easier to get a natural picture when children are relaxed and enjoying themselves, so keep it lighthearted.

8    Get up close Children have a wonderfully uninhibited range of expressions so come in close to their faces. A tight shot of an expressive face is much more appealing than a head-to-toe.

9    Keep shooting Children dart about suddenly so be prepared to run with the herd, bouncing around on your feet, up and down.

10    Produce digitally Grab what you can when you can, then in post production on your computer, edit your photos and improve your shots. Crop out the clutter in the background, remove distracting or irrelevant elements and drop in a school crest. Photo enhancement is not cheating – it’s what professional photographers do.