Whether you are here to learn how to take great photos or looking to make money taking photos of children, let me leave you with my experience taking photos of children and hopefully you could have a head start. (Remember when taking a picture involving a person a legal release form should be signed by first and second party and a witness if possible. Involving an underage subject, you must have the parents or the legal guardian's consent)Children and animal photography is not much difference, they can be really disappointing or with the right camera settings and know how, they can be really rewarding and one to keep for the rest of your life.
Lets talk about the camera setting. If your camera has a AI FOCUS settings, keep it there to get sharp pictures more consistently. If you have a multi focus points, use just the center one. This prevents the cameras auto focus widely focusing the background or unwanted details. Also, make sure you set your camera to multi shooting or continuous shooting mode to not lose any precious moments. Continuous shots usually go from 3 up to 4 shots. Remember to set your camera to high speed if you are taking it manually.
Another important tip to get stunning children photos is the setting or location. Usually the child´s house is the best location. They feel more comfortable as they are in their element. They know which spots they can be naughty and have their toys close to them. Follow them wherever they go of course within reason and be close to them so you can also be part of their game. Always have your camera ready to take that shot, keep your fingers ready. Have both eyes open, one looking through the camera and the other to see what is happening around the children to anticipate the unexpected moves. Great children photography are usually taken when they are off guard, that is when the eyes have that special sparkle.
It will be great if you can visit the parents and the child in their house the day before you plan to have the photo session.