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an attempt at potraits of children...suggestions please!

Discussion in 'People' started by Leigh, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    I was asked today to take some headshots of my neices. No special reason other than my brother wants them to give to his wife on Mother's Day....I suppose that is a special reason after all. Regardless, I took a few shots of them in my mom's backyard this afternoon. I think they are okay, but I wish I knew of a way to get them to cooperate. Payton (the redhead) just wanted to ham it up and so I came away with one nice shot of her. Cassie (the blonde) wanted to keep her chin on her chest whilst she looked at the ground. I only took about 40 or 50 shots in total and these are what I consider the best of them. Did I totally miss the mark or are they in fact decent shots?




    Thanks so much
  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I have a much better time with kids if they don't think they are in a photo session. Your photos and the kids, by the way, are darling, but they do show some 'camera shyness' in the subjects. Give them something to do, then shoot when they are not expecting it. (This technique does NOT work for adults by the way :)  )

    Another trick I use, especially with recalcitrant Sam is to ignore him, wait until he's ignoring me, then call his name and shoot when he first looks.

    The classic squeeky toy has never worked for me, nor does "Look at the birdie!" Say cheeze does though, especially if you substitute their favorite 'annoyance' word. I've been using "Say Butt" and they break out laughing.
  3. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    Thanks Chris...I'll have to remember to "say butt"! that's hysterical! I'll definitely take those suggestions to heart the next time I have the opportunity w/the girls. Heck, I'll try it out on my boys...

    Since you are so helpful, do you have any ideas on how to compensate of the dark eyes on an otherwise fair complexion (ie. the ones of cassie?)

    (btw, distraction doesn't work for adults, but does "say butt"?)
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Try a reflector, fill flash or the dodge tool in Photoshop.

    It does for me :)  !
  5. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    Chris, as soon as Patrick gets my new computer built and Photoshop installed I'll definitely try it out!

    I just love this cafe! It helps to have a place to come and ask questions w/o being blasted out of the water because I'm not a professional.

    Thanks so much for all your help.
  6. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    WHAT?!?!?! You're not a pro? If it weren't for the fact you're married to the guy that sweeps up around here at night ... ;) 

    Except for Ron and a couple other guys, we're all hacks. Some of the amateurs can sure shoot pretty pictures though. Astounding even.

    PS: Here's another trick I've used with kids who hang their heads - turn the camera upside down so the flash is below the lens. It makes grown-ups look goulish, but gives a sense of mystery and curiosity to shy little ones.
  7. I know absolutely nothing about portrait shots. I will say these shots a warm. Nicely done!! :D  :D  :D  :D 
  8. Looks good Leigh. It's hard to take closeups like these without long lenses. I usually put on my 70-200 and then I am far enough away that the kids quit looking at me. Your brother should be happy with these.

    Once you get Photoshop you will find ways to make these type shots even better.
  9. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO

    I have approached this 2 different ways. First way was with 180 f2.8 at a distance while the kids played. You got to be quick on the trigger with this method.

    Another way was for me to join them in play. Set the camera on a tripod with a 50mm. Do some crafts at a table by a window. :wink: Use the remote to catch different expressions or angles of lighting. The only problem with this is the crop factor reduces printable image size.

    For lighting the eyes use fill flash or reflector. I keep a small 12" reflector in my camera bag. Flash is better for fast moving targets though.

    Squeaky toy never worked for me either. A rush of air from a hand fan works with todlers.

    I am no pro though so take it for what it worth.

  10. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    Thanks Charles. I appreciate the help...and I'll remember the fan technique...sounds like that would work w/Cassie. I'm definitely going to practice on my kids!
  11. A couple of thoughts on kid-pics, Leigh...

    For candids, I stalk them, just like I do with the Snowy Egrets. I go to where they like to play, sit quietly,
    and don't lift up the camera until they're absorbed in their activities. They never notice when I start shooting 8) .


    Posed shots are more difficult, but I get their cooperation by making them part of the process. I ask them
    if they'll be my assistant, and help me pick out a good picture. Then, between every shot, they run over
    and look at the results on my tiny "TV screen", and critique the images. They get involved and excited and
    cooperative! It works every time :lol:.

    View attachment 7885
  12. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    UF, thanks so much. I'm sure they'll like the idea of looking at their pictures on the screen...I'll remember that. I'm going to just have to practice-practice-practice...I'm also hoping to get hold of a reflector. I got to thinking and figured that along your lines of helping, the older kids can hold it for me while i shoot younger ones....

    Thanks everyone. I just love learning from you guys!
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