Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How To Photograph Children

Photographing kids is always a challenge. One thing that you must have is, PATIENCE. Remember, children will always be in playful mode. So be prepared to run around yourself and never expect them to pose for you like adults can.

Before any shoot, you must plan on how you want it, without disregarding their age. Yes, that matters! 1 yr old kids generally are easier to photograph as they don't run like 2 yr old or 3 yr old kids. You can put them in one corner, dress them up and start shooting. I always get down to their eye level to get a nice front view. But this depends on how you want it. Be artistic. You can shoot them from the top, or any angle you wish. There are no strict rules to it. So get it on, and experiment.

Before I tell you the tips and tricks on photographing toddlers, let me tell you the settings I always use.  I am an Aperture photographer. Basically, that would be the setting for my camera, unless I shoot landscape which is totally a different story altogether.

When shooting toddlers, I like to use my 85mm 1.4 or 70-200 2.8. I normally use the widest aperture. I like those depth of field in my pictures. Make sure that you focus on the eyes, the rule for photographing portraits. Now, if you don't have those fixed lenses, always zoom out to get the best results for your depth of field. Let's say, you have 18-200 or 70-200 attached to your camera - make sure you zoom in to 200.

For my ISO, I would turn it to ISO-AUTO. Why? Because I will constantly be on the move. Unless of course I am shooting with a slave flash.

So now, let's talk about tricks on how to get them to smile for you or at least stand at the location where you want them to. Remember: You have to be very fast, as kids will be out of that location in a second. Believe me.

It is always best to get somebody help you out to bring out the natural emotion from the kids. I normally would ask my husband to stand behind me, so he could try to make him laugh and get a nice natural smile or laugh.

This trick never fails me. I talk to my son and tell him that I will buy him a toy, only if he can stand or sit there for a minute so I can take his picture. Or, I will have a candy with me as a prize if he can do something for mommy.

Kids love bubbles! Get your Bubble Blowing ready and see how it makes them so excited. 

Get his favorite toy, hide it, and when you're ready to shoot, call his name and surprise him with the toy! It will make him smile, laugh or giggle! 

If you see anything that forms a horizon, like a train track, or a narrow alley, ask him to walk towards you. Kids anyway will always walk even if you don't tell them. Get your self in a good position and shoot. "Come to Mommy!" 

Play his favourite YouTube show on your Ipad. Make sure it is positioned in a way that he is not looking down or looking up.

Play Peek-A-Boo! Children LOVE it!

As for any shoots, be engaging! It has to feel natural and comfortable.

These are some of the tricks I use that has really work wonders for me! Try it and tell me how you did. :)

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