One of the challenges in photographing children is capturing those wonderful moments when they are oblivious to the camera. Spontaneity is not easy to capture on film. You have to watch them through the viewfinder and wait for that special moment. If I miss a great shot, I never take my eye away from the viewfinder in disappointment or to tell a traveling companion what just happened. I keep watching, because another opportunity will most likely follow quickly.
Sometimes I'll ask the kids to interact with each other, like playing a game or tickling each other. Often, I will see them acting with total abandon, but when I bring out my camera they stop and stand straight as arrows, posing. They don't understand that I want that innocent and uninhibited play, so through an interpreter I ask them to continue what they were doing.
Never try to push a child into being photographed when he or she doesn't want to. Very young children who have not been exposed to outsiders can be scared to death of strange looking foreigners who point large, metal and glass things in their direction. If you sense their discomfort, find another, more willing, subject.
Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.