Sometimes it is good to go to a professional photographic studio to get that great shot of the kids. Its not always the case though, often the best shot comes from a candid camera moment.
I've learnt to just let the child play and get engrossed with what they are doing before I start to take pictures. There's no need to call their names so that they turn towards the camera. Often if you do they will do the opposite and look away ruining the chance of a good photograph or give such a false grin as to ruin the photo opportunity. Just discretely take a few shots, avoiding flash if you can as that will often cause them to stop what they are doing and turn towards the camera, or indeed turn away saying no! Its good to catch that moment of joy on their faces, even when they are not looking directly at the camera and it creates a much more natural photograph.
Giving them something to do, such as blow bubbles is an old photography trick. Their attention is focused on making bubbles and watching where they go and they are not focused on the camera, enabling quite a number of good photo opportunities. Getting the bubbles in the picture adds a further element to the photograph as well.
Not all children's candid shots need to be in colour either.
I have taken the colour out of this photo in post processing. The little girl in the photo is really enjoying herself. So producing it in black and white adds definition and drama to an already energised shot. The final result is an image that shouts of the energy and happiness of the little girl.
I hope you like these shots. Feel free to tell me what you like or even dislike about the photos in the comments section. If you think maybe I could do it differently then tell me too. By helping each other we can learn more and take better photos.