Ilene Squires Photography

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photographing Children and Children's Things

Many times when I shoot children {toddlers and babies included}, parents tell me the same thing: "I shoot my kids all the time and only one of hundreds of pictures comes out!" OR "I just hold the shutter down and hope for the best.

I have a few tips for parents in search of quality photos and am always available for Q& A regarding this. Here goes!

  1. Buy an SLR camera; point and shoots and phone cameras are just not that good. 
  2. If you know nothing about photography, accept that and move on to shoot in semi-automatic. I personally prefer AV or aperture priority
  3. Google what semi-automatic means and stop fussing with manual settings with your toddler! They move quickly and you don't have time!
  4. Get down to their level; meaning, eye level with your subject {see photo below}. 
Here, I am down, eye level with the blocks, approximately 1 foot away. This same strategy applies to children too!
Here's the final image. Shooting with Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f1.2 lens ||  ISO 250 || f 2.8 || 1/8000

    5.   Flash is almost NEVER flattering {esp when you don't know how to use it}, shoot          
        outside in open shade or indoors near a window.

This was shot in the middle of the day, which is the least optimal time as the sun is directly overhead. The boys are backlit (creating the glow), sun reflected off the pond BUT they are standing under a tree, in the shade. 
This photo is shot under the same circumstances. Shooting with Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f1.2 lens ||  ISO 100 || f 2.8 || 1/400
Pablo is sitting in front of a large window which is directly behind me, front lighting him and the book. Shooting with Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f1.2 lens ||  ISO 1000 || f 4.5 || 1/80

   6.  Directing kids to say "cheese," will create a generic photo, one I am sure you have a     
        million of. Instead, have your child act {Try these directives: BE sad, BE happy,    
        JUMP up, DANCE!} and catch them in the act. These directives promise to produce  
        more natural images. 

This rascal here was a fire cracker, and refused to smile for the hour we had already spent together. At the end of the shoot, as a last attempt I layed down on the grass. Naturally, she followed and I told her to "roll down the hill," shooting this image "mid roll."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I absolutely love your work.