So, it is photographing children you want to hear about? Let me tell you, as the author of this article, the title ‘photographing children’ doesn’t give you or me much of a clue about what it is I will actually be writing about! From the title you have understood that the topics are ‘photography’, and ‘children’. The vagueness of this title, gives much to be desired for you as a reader and myself as the author.
What is my goal?
My goal is to help you, as a photographer, reach your goal. You first need to understand what your personal goal is for reading this article and in taking a photograph of a child.
So What is Your Goal?
There are many aspects to photographing children, more aspects than can be covered in one article. Photographing children is such a joy. When working with kids you can be so much more creative with much less pressure than you would experience with an adult. They won’t think you are crazy when you pose them strangely; they look the cutest when they are just being themselves, and most usually love to have their picture taken!
This month’s article will cover how to catch children in action; candid child photography.
#1 Making friends
If you are related to the child, this makes things a whole lot easier. However, if the subject does not know you to begin with, they may not be as natural around you and your black box with a lens hanging of the front! No fear, however, there are ways to work around shyness and lack of relationship. First off, you must be willing to get on their level. Sit on the floor with them and find out what interests them. Talk to them and gain their confidence so they can feel natural around you.
#2 Let them know they don’t need to pose
Most often if asked to pose or not, children will automatically pose. To the detriment of the candid photographer, cameras are so prevalent in our day in age that most children automatically turn on that classic fake smile! That is not what you want. Make sure you let your subject know that you will be taking pictures, and that they should just continue doing whatever it was they were previously.
One of the things I try and keep in mind when shooting children is exposure & contrast. Determine if you think these photos should be high or low-key. Sometimes if the mood of your model is somber, a higher contrasted B&W could really help you portray that mood. When things are all happy and cheery, vibrant color may be the key. Perhaps you just want to show the world how sweet they are; try lower contrast and softer colors, B&W or even sepia.
#4 Continuous Shooting
If you have a continuous shooting mode on your camera, try and incorporate this into your candids of children. Little ones can be wiggly and very active. In order to catch the moment, you may need continuous shooting. Usually somewhere in the middle of that stream of photos you will find the one you are looking for. Another advantage of continuous shooting is that you can also tell a story by using several of the photos in a row; like a storyboard.
These are just a few aspects of candid child photography. Our last update covered general candid photography, now you can mesh these two articles together. There are many aspects to photographing children that I have not covered. However, in the future we can begin to look more in-depth as well as look at the array of venues for childhood photography, such as school portraits and portraiture in general. Feel free to drop me a comment, or contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and I will try and answer your questions as best I can.
May the Lord bless your endeavors!