How to photograph kids
Photographing children requires patience and a sense of humour. In a studio, the space and equipment will all be new and fascinating, and children may well want to touch and ask questions about everything. For good results, try to make the photo session fun – let them look through the camera viewfinder, for example, and answer their questions about what you are doing and why as fully as possible, even while you are shooting.
Children rarely sit still, so do not try to restrict their movements too much or they may become bored and uncooperative. Flash lighting units should be set to give a broad area of even light, perhaps positioned either side of the set. You will have to be as mobile as your subjects, and a hand-held camera fitted with a telephoto zoom lens will allow you most freedom of movement.
A 35mm camera is ideal for photographing children since it is lightweight and easy to operate. With a young subject you have to work quickly, and there is little time to focus or to adjust the exposure for each frame. Count on using more film than normal to cover inevitable framing and focusing errors. Many children enjoy having their picture taken, however, the presence of a parent or other adult family member will give a child extra confidence. A parent can also encourage or entertain a child from behind the camera to provoke laughter and smiles.
PROVIDE TOYS AND GAMES
A young child gets bored very easily and has a short attention span. You will need a supply of toys or other props, such as books and games, on hand to provide entertainment. With an interesting toy or a colorful picture book, children will soon become absorbed in what they are doing and forget about the presence of the camera.
Photographing children is something that many photographers say should be avoided at all costs! While it’s fair to say that child photography can be challenging, it really doesn’t need to be a painful experience. If you’ve got children of your own or friends with kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, taking family portrait photography to capture the magic of an exploding smile, the emotion of a child in thought or the expressiveness of a mischievous grin far outweighs the risks of tears and tantrums.
What settings will be ideal when you are taking pictures of your kids
Start by keeping your camera at Aperture priority mode as this will enable you to have some creative shots by simply controlling depth of field. It is an important factor when you are doing portraits.
Aperture helps you to decide while taking portrait shots that you want the background to be razor sharp or you want the background to be completely out of focus. by switching you aperture to 5.6 will produce a sharp image compared to a shot taken at 1.8 which will make the background out of focus.
ISO varies if you shoot indoor or outdoor. If there is low light your shutter speed will eventually fall below 1/60th of a second which will cause a hazy image and hence you need to increase the ISO to the limited stops till you get the appropriate shutter speed. try keeping the ISO at 100 or 200 to avoid grains in he picture.
Always keep an eye at the shutter speed your camera before releasing the shutter. It is preferable to maintain the shutter speed at 1/200th of a second or more if your kid keeps on moving around and does not stays at one place for long. If the shutter speed goes higher, its perfectly all right, just that it should not drop.
5. Shoot on RAW: If you have some post production work to do after the shoot its always better to shoot at RAW. RAW mode helps you to make changes in the picture without destroying the picture quality.
6. Lens: while photographing your kids choose a lens which have the zoom capability as it enables you to take a shot even from a far off place without making your kid camera conscious. using 70-200mm lens will work absolutely fine.
TIPS TO PHOTOGRAPH KIDS:
Location: try and plan out your location of shoot see for the locations where you can take you child and photograph him/her while they are playing. Its better if you take photographs of you child both in indoor and outdoor where you have a simple background and a joyful environment so that you child can have fun.
Candid shots : photograph candidly your kids let them do what ever they feel like doing , snap the moment before it gets over. Their innocence is what will be cherished forever . Photograph you kids while they are playing or when they are in joyous mood and you will get excellent results for sure.
3. Get Comfortable with kids: The most important thing you should do while photographing kids is to get down to their level. Be friends with kids let them treat you as a friend and not a stranger. this will build confidence in them for you and you will get excellent result as you photographs. Talk to the child constantly, taking an interest in what he or she is saying to put the child at ease.
Eyes as main focus point: while taking photographs of kids always focus on the eyes of the subject. put your camera on single focusing point and frame it on the eyes of your kid.
The clothes your kid is wearing plays an important consideration . A patterned or stripped shirt might become a distraction and take the viewers eye off the subject. some time it might happen that personality of your child is highlighted by the eye catching clothing. Kids always get comfortable when they are wearing casuals instead of formals.
A wide aperture such as f/2.8 helps you achieve a fast shutter speed and creates a shallow depth of field, which will throw the background out of focus. This can be a useful way to de-clutter a distracting background. Depending on your lens, it can also introduce some striking bokeh effects.
Make sure cables, switches, and expensive camera equipment are safely kept out of harm’s way.
Kneel so that the camera is at the child’s eye level.
Lights need to be positioned lower than normal.
Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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