1 Jan 2008

TEN MORE TIPS on how to photograph children - part 2

The photography session started almost as soon as I walked thought the door, with Niamh taking charge of proceedings and insisting that the first photograph should be of her and Rory playing the piano. I was more than pleased to go along with this even though the piano was in a corner of the room that was difficult to light. Who cared? Pictures were happening already and the children were having fun and getting involved.

Together, we then found a position beside a large patio window (no direct sun light). Intending to use the available sidelight from this window and position the two children on the floor beside it. I used a large white reflector to help put light back into the shadows. I set the ISO to 400 and asked Niamh to sit for a moment while I took a light reading of her face. I put the colouring books and crayons on the floor, let the kids get started and took lots of pictures. The books acted as a focal point (see part 1) and helped ‘confine’ the children to one spot for a while. Sitting them on a chair or at a table can also help. If you are working outdoors, sitting children on a playground rocking horse or roundabout can work. You might get them to look through or over a gate - anything to keep them in one place while you take your pictures.

The entire picture taking session lasted under one hour and, overall, I was pleased with the results – particularly the two individual pictures of the children.


Start taking pictures straight away
Don’t try to set up a tripod
Keep the camera to your eye
Interact with the children – talk to them
Use the fastest shutter speed possible
Be patient
Be alert
Beware of runny noses
Don’t let long hair cover faces
Try not to get too close

Outdoors in the garden, Niamh insisted on showing me how well she could ride her bicycle. I went with the flow and asked her to ride round and round me, panning the camera to follow her. I slowed the shutter speed to 1/60sec to blur the background and give a sense of movement, while she and the bike remain reasonably sharp

The bubbles were a failure. Hardly a pea-sized bubble was produced, and even those were whipped away in the wind. But the expressions on Rory’s face as he huffed, puffed and blew were well worth photographing

Photographing Niamh and Rory in their back garden. We had a lot of fun. It was a cold day and in these conditions it is essential that the children wrap up in warm clothes. It all helped keep them happy

1 comment:

altamiranyc said...

That last picture is amazing. Please keep up the great work. Your blog is perhaps the single easiest source of information about how to photography that I've discovered. Thanks for the link too.