The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Children

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Jim Harmer.


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The BetterPhoto guide to photographing children

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    How to Photograph Children - 17 Tips for Great Children Photography

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    This follows on from the point above. Having a big black object blocking your face is hardly the best way to illicit natural responses from kids. Try and take photos with the camera slightly lowered from your face. Kids are unpredictable and fast moving, so shooting lots of photos at once can help increase the odds of getting good shots.

    GMC BetterPhoto Guide Photographing Children

    One word of advice though, try and find the time to go through the shots either on your camera or phone and delete the ones you screwed up before getting them to your computer. This will save you hours of culling later on, but just be careful you delete the right shots! This tip is broad and applies to improving all facets of photography.

    However, with children photography we can simplify this by saying, use natural light as much as possible. The above photo was taken just using the light from a window in a dark room. However, for those odd shots where you have some time, just asking them to stand in the right place or picking them up and putting them there before clicking the shutter button can create a much more pleasing image than one taken in bad light. Another precursor to unflattering photos is harsh light, particularly midday sun or sunlight that is very strong and directly overhead.

    The light on their faces will be softer and result in much more pleasing images. However, if you adhere to certain rules of where to crop your subject, you can fill the frame with more of what matters. This is especially true when photographing children. If your camera has a zoom, use it to show off their face by zooming in tight and cropping the top part of their head, or at the lower neck.

    Photography composition is a huge topic with many rules, and most of these rules can also be broken to still create a compelling image. If you want to get more specific about one of the more popular rules of composition, read the basics of the rule of thirds.

    To do this, compose your photo with your subject in the middle and hold down your shutter button halfway to engage the autofocus. After waking up from a good sleep, after snack time, playing with their favourite toy etc etc.

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    Choose a time when your children are distracted with a toy or activity to get a candid photo of them looking happy, totally unaware of your camera. Ask them a question and wait until they start answering it before raising the camera to your eye. Or even take a quick snap of them thinking. Or even simpler, just wait for the child to be interacting with someone else, such as in the photo above.

    I mentioned earlier that getting down at their level can really help when photographing children.

    by James Gatenby

    Photographing kids from above can give an interesting perspective. My favourite shots are often those taken directly above the child, especially if they are laying down. This angle of view never fails to create an interesting photo, especially if you have time to compose the shot.