Friday, August 24, 2012

You never know what you're gonna get

I'm not talking about boxes of chocolate or life in general, but todays theme: Photographing kids!

I love to photograph kids. Kids can be shy, they can be funny, they can be playful or difficault, but in general kids never seem to worry about how they are going to look at the finished photo. Kids never pose in a certain way to hide things about them selves that they don't like. In other words; kids are wonderfully natural  in front of the camera!
When photographing kids, as with every other portrait photographing, you'll always get a better result if you manage to capture eye contact. There is so much communication going on by eyes!
Some kids are very playful, and to manage to portray them you'll have to be able to play as well. If you expect kids to stand still, look at the camera, putting on a smile, you're in for a suprise.

 Rule number one is to recognnize that things might not go according to least not according to your plan! The best plan is to decide to play along, and never-NEVER- be stressed out.

Some of my best child portraits have been made while having a conversation with the kid. Hold the camera in your lap, talk about anything, and just pick up the camera every now and then to shoot a few shots. At this point you might understand that the main key to good portraits is communication.

If the kid is a bit shy it's a great idea to move the camera down, get down on your knees and capture your shot from below. This way the kid comes out stronger and more confident, and it's much easier to get the much wanted eye contact!

Although it's sometimes cool to break the rules (like the two photos above), in general it's a pretty good idea to at least move the camera down to eye level. Informal portraits often use the rule of placing the eyes 1/3 from the top of the frame. I've talked about this in the blogpost "Starting to think within the frames".

So far - so good, but what about smaller children who you can't communicate with the same way as you'll normally do with larger ones?

Princess Sofia, 6 days old,  is fed up with photo shoot!

Well, you'll just have to apply everything you know about light, composition and depht of field. I always think it's a pretty good idea to move up close, especially if you will shoot good infant photos. Be sure to light up the room, and never - EVER- shoot the flash straight into the poor babys face!

If the baby is sleeping you can carefully move up close and capture the little toes, fingers and ears.

Of course, photography is also about taste. Many mothers and fathers would like to have a favorite toy og outfit in the photo. It's crucial that this doesn't steal the attention from the child. I belive the child should be the centre of attention in the frame. Also plan, so there'll be no distractions -visual noise- in the background.

Hope this was helpful.

Take care!