Photographing Children â The Shoot
Before I give some specific tips about the shoot, I think it’s worth saying that you want to get the children that you are photographing as comfortable with you and the camera as possible. Showing kids photos after you’ve taken them, letting the child look through the viewfinder and even take a few shots (if they’re old enough), spending time with the kids before taking shots â all of these things can help set the child at ease. The more relaxed they are the better.
Location â Where you shoot will depend a lot on your situation â but try to think of a 2-3 scenes/settings that you could go to before you start shooting. If you have a few hours â pick at least one outside (a park perhaps), one inside (in their bedroom or play room perhaps) and try to find a spot where you have a fairly simple background (something with color can be good) for a few posed shots. Choose places where your kids have fun, where you can show them in their natural playful environment. If you’ve got the time go to the zoo, beach or some other fun place.
Candid Approach â I try to shoot candidly with kids as much as possible. Get them doing something that they enjoy and just start snapping. You might ask them to stop/pause what they are doing every now and again and to look at you (at the top of a slide for instance) but over time you’ll find lots of moments in the normal run of their âplay’. âPosing’ â With older kids you might find that they respond better to âposing’ moments. I find with little kids that they don’t often have the attention span for this (and they tend to pull the cheesiest smiles they can). Alter Your Perspective â Having said that â sometimes you can get a really great shot by breaking this âget on their level’ rule. Shooting from directly above or below can also give a great result! Get close/Zoom â you’ve got a lens with reasonable focal length (I’d probably prefer something a little longer myself) but you’ll want to get in reasonably close in order to fill your frame with your kids. At times it’ll be good to zoom out or step back in order to get their context â but your parents want to see your kids faces â so make sure they dominate the shot rather than their environment.
Reference:Â How to Photograph Children
by Darren Rowse
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