Friday, February 18, 2011

Photographing Children

It's going to be a photo Friday as things just became a bit difficult with a already tight schedule being squeezed even tighter. So I'll talk a little more on children's photography. To get a good picture you have to first decide what the focal point is. Is the balloon and the pants the focus, as they are the Valentine's gift or is it the child? The pants and balloon for me were secondary but I kept them visible in the photo. The first picture was cropped from this hasty snap shot. Had I been paying closer attention, I would have zoomed down to just above her head with the camera.

Still, I would not have gotten rid of the distracting side view of the hallway by doing that. That's when the computer comes in real handy. Using the crop feature. I was able to zoom in. What bothers me about this photo is I feel I've lost the personnal contact with our middle grand daughter. That's why I like the top photo so much better. Call me old school but I'd rather get the photo right with the camera, than spend time on the computer changing it. You can only zoom in so far before things become a bit fuzzy and you've lost your ability to have the photo enlarged. Besides, I'm not very good with the computer, only being able to do rudimentary changes. I'm still wondering how you guys put a collage of pictures at the top of your blogs. I'd love to know.

For me, children's photography's main focus is almost alway the child. The exception is if you are telling a story like a trip to Disney Land (something I would never do) and you wanted to show the child was there. Then the child would be small as you tried to emcompass part of Disney Land in the background. Don't forget to get close ups of the child's face and their reaction to this adventure.
I'm always thinking scrapbook page, though that hobby has gone by the wayside with raising our grand daughters. Won't I have a back log of pictures to do since I'm taking more than ever of them. I just can't leave the necessary materials around with a four year old that can't leave anything alone and a two year old who naturally is in to everything. So it lies in a heap in the basement since it once resided in their bedroom.

But because I can't keep from thinking scrapbook page, I snapped this photo of our youngest looking up at her balloon thinking I might put it at the bottom left hand corner of a page and a paper balloon up and to the right of her with writing inside telling of the gifts and events of the day.
One of my favorite photos is this one. I almost always choose a close up as a favorite. Those cute chunky cheeks makes me want to kiss them. My emotions are set off and yet, it shows she recieved an outfit to wear on this special day and a balloon. Her eyes looking off to the left could lead the person looking at the scrapbook page off to another photo there.
This photo is another of my favorites as it engages the viewer because she happened to be looking at the camera. I don't care for set up shots and like to put the kids somewhere and just shoot. Never, NEVER, so I ask them to look at the camera and smile. Authentic emotions never come through with this method. I'm still trying to get our oldest over this method and hence, her fake smiles always cause me to delete the shot off the camera. I don't have many candid shots of her right now in comparison to her non trained siblings who for the most part ignore me as I shoot, shoot, shoot, away.
Some day I'll teach them about composition and tell them that this photo is good but the balloon pulls attention aways from the subject.
I wanted to capture our middle grand daughter sucking on this ring sucker. A face on shot made me wonder what she was sucking on except I saw her put it in her mouth. This side shot I took next didn't work at all for me so I just kept shooting. And finally, I caught this one with her head tilted and the sucker just outside her mouth leaving no doubt what she was doing. This is a picture that tells a story. The sucker is the focus and the story is her sucking on it. The same with this photo. You've got to include candy in your Valentines photos don't you, for it is a big part of Valentines Day for children. Okay, for me too. This story photo had to be shot back a ways to catch the table and kitchen light to reveal our two notty grand children on the table. Note the distracting background. It draws attention away from the girls but can't be helped since this is a spontaneous photo. You don't think I put them up there on purpose. No Way, as our youngest is aways saying instead of a simple no.
And though the lighting was poor in these two photos, they tell the personality of our grand children. Yes, they were pretending to be dogs with balloons.

But best of all I love photographing children when a real spark of personality shines through like in this photo.
Have a wonderful weekend!

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