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HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF CHILDREN

Posted on 2 November, 2017 at 0:45


Hi Readers!


I must apologise for not having posted in a while, things have been quite hectic and my health hasn't been the best.  I'm back on track now though!  With Christmas fast approaching, I thought it would be useful to share some tips on Photographing Children.  This is a question I'm often asked.  I have compiled some useful tips below:


SETTINGS:


I would start by switching your camera to Aperture Priority Mode.  This allows you to have some control over the depth of field which is important in portrait photography.  If you do not have Aperture Priority Mode on your camera, select Portrait Mode instead.


I would then start by selecting f5.6 for my aperture setting, which can be altered up or down during the shoot.  This will leave the background out of focus, with the primary focus being the child/subject.


The ISO function on your camera should be set as low as possible.  Try keeping in at 800 or lower to avoid pixelation in your images.  A setting of 200-400 is usually effective, providing there is enough light to shoot with.


The shutter speed should be kept at 1/200th of a second or faster if your children are moving.  You may need to shift it to 1/500th or more if this is the case.  If you are not confident with setting your shutter speed on your camera, you may wish to set it to sports mode instead.


Set your camera to Auto focus / single point focusing.  This enables you to know exactly where it is that your camera is focusing.


Try setting your camera to RAW shooting mode.  This allows you to have more control over editing your images following the shoot.


I would suggest limiting using the flash on your camera.  Instead try opting for locations where there is plenty of available natural light.


I prefer using my 70-200ml zoom lens when photographing children, as it allows you to fill your screen with the child without having to be super close to them!



THE SHOOT:


The most important tip I can give when photographing children is to spend time making them feel comfortable with both you and the camera beforehand.  Engage with the child as much as possible.  Perhaps you could show the child the images you've taken and let them look through the viewfinder on the camera.  You want the child to be as relaxed as possible during the shoot.


When it comes to the location, I prefer to photograph children outdoors, as this is their natural environment, whilst at play.  Maybe take them to the park or beach or gardens; somewhere they can relate to and have 'fun!'


I prefer to photograph children candidly; have them engaging in what children do!  This playful and more natural style results with great looking images.


I find with posing my subjects, children often have a relatively short attention span; being able to operate quickly is important.  Also, they tend to get bored and tired if the shoot goes for too long.  Older children / adolescents tend to follow direction better and you are able to 'pose' them more successfully.


It is important when photographing children, to get down to their level.  This provides for more intimate shots.  In contrast to this however, by altering your perspective, and photographing the child either from above or below, can often result with great images.  Maybe try both styles!


I prefer to focus little on the background, and instead fill the frame with the child themselves.  Get in nice and close!  This keeps the focus on the child as the main subject.  Also some backgrounds can be distracting, so opt for very plain and simple backgrounds during the shoot.


When focusing your shot, it is best to focus on the eyes!  This is what the viewer is most drawn to.  As the face is the main focal point it's important that the eyes are sharp.


Pay particular attention to the background when photographing children.  They can often prove distracting. To avoid this, have the child fill the frame of your shot, as well as placing your subject in front of a simple background with no distracting elements, such as a wall.


Do not be afraid to photograph the child in an abstract manner.  Focus on their shoes, hands and eyes only, have only part of their head in the shot.  This will provide some interesting shots as well as add to your variety of images.


WIth regards to clothing, I make sure the child is in something they are comfortable with wearing.  Often plain, bold colours produce great results.  Maybe have a few different outfits on hand for the child to change into.


When photographing children outside especially, have your camera set to continuous mode for some of your shots.  This is when the shots are fired automatically and provides for some great sequential images!


My final tip when photographing children is to make sure they are having 'fun.'  Do not be afraid to show your personality in order to have the child become comfortable with you.  Tell jokes!  Be a big child yourself! Make them laugh and engage with you!  This provides for the best images!




Good luck!


Alison




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