Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I like photographing kids

Last weekend I did my second kid photo session - I think from now on instead of "photo session" I will use the term "kid safari" - so lets start over .. Last weekend I went on a "kid safari", find a kid, travel to an "exotic" location (National Mall), turn him/her loose, and the chase is on! Just change the "big" in big game hunting to "little", and there you have it. Kids are great, and I think it would be tons of fun to do full time.

With this in mind, if there are folks who are reading this with children or who know anyone with children, I'm building a portfolio and am offering my services free - limited time only. All I'd ask is to allow me to use the images in my portfolio, a few kind words on your neighborhood parent list serve, and maybe a free juice box during the shoot.

So a few reasons why I like to take photos of kids:

They always try hard at everything.
Their attention span is comparable to my own.
They are curious about everything.
They eat dirt.
They are drooley and their noses run.
They don't worry about double chins or which is their good side.

Here is a selection of my favorite images from the afternoon: (you can see more totally unedited, bug bites and all, pics here.)

A few things to note in the categories of "lessons learned" and "things to practice". In framing the subject, I think in general it is very important to 1) create space around the subject and 2) get all of the important body parts in the frame. I'm all for breaking the rules, but there are a number of shots that I think would have been nicer if I had gotten a bit more of the foot or the pointing finger or the ear, etc. Initially I think its very hard to concentrate on the entire frame and not just center the eyes in the middle of the picture, leaving off feet or hands. Once the subject is framed I am then looking to compose the picture using other background elements, a ray of light, the edge of a building, a spot of color, etc. Not saying that I always get it, this is a reminder to myself as much as anything that these are things that I want to practice. A few other notes. 1) Get down to the kids level. 2) Kids love to climb up, get down, peak over and around. These are all good opportunities for shots. 3) The catch light is best when there is maximum contrast between shade and sunlight. Most of these shots were done with the kid in the shade and with some aspect of sunlight filling, bouncing, filtering in, etc. 4) Set the camera focusing to continuous, because this might as well be a sporting event.

I shot all of these with my 70-210 lens and with some degree of on camera fill flash.

No comments: