June 2013
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How to take great photos of children – Part 5 – 5 Tips

Taking photos of children can be a delight. These photos look great, and can provoke a great deal of emotion, for many years afterwards. However, taking such photos can sometimes be a challenge and tips on how to take better photos can be very valuable. If you feel that something is not covered in this series, then please do mention these in the comments.

Photos from the previous post in this series (Taking great shots of children – Part 4)

Tip 1131 (Use a zoom for getting close ups): This is useful for those cases where you are taking a photo of a number of children together, whether they be having fun together, or playing some sport together. So, suppose you want to take a photo of a little league game or even a collection of smaller children, having a zoom lens is useful. This zoom lens allows you to take photos of the children from a distance without disturbing the children, and you can even catch some specific events in close up.

Tip 1132 (Explore the use of auto-focus): Children can be very fidgety and quite capable of rapid movement. If you are close to them, then this movement can ensure that you really don’t have the time to keep adjusting the manual focus as quickly as needed, and so you should explore the option of using the auto-focus, subject to the amount of time it takes for your camera to focus automatically. Of course, if you have a point and shoot camera, then in most cases you will not have an option and auto-focus is what you will be able to do.

Tip 1133 (Know the various features of your camera): This would seem a very obvious tip, and if you have expertise in using a camera, then not applicable to you. However, you would not believe the number of people (including friends) who have bought a SLR and looking to shoot at parties, and then suddenly they do not know how to adjust the exposure (shutter speed or the aperture), do not know how to adjust the ISO, and so on, and then their photos really do not turn out as they would have liked. Eventually they invariably move to using auto everything for taking a photo.

Tip 1134 (Camera safety): Ask a parent about the pitfalls of using any device within easy range of a child of a certain age range, and how they find it difficult to prevent the child from snatching the device. Once, a child saw the camera strap dangling within reach, and a delicate negotiation had to be done to convince the child to release the strap without using brute force (the parent nearby would have killed me, and it did not seem right), and this was something that went off easy. It may seem hard, but when using your camera or other equipment in an unregulated space (means anywhere where children are wandering around normally), ensure that you know that your equipment is not in harm’s way (and a tripod falling or something similarly could end up harming a child).

Tip 1135 (If family, ensure that you are also there in the photo): This tip is more specific to the cases where you are capturing the photos of family; how often do you find that people like the photos that you take, but are searching for you. Make sure that when these are family photos that will be reminders later (whether it is going with children on trips, or just growing up photos), you rotate the photographer so that you also find a place in the family photos.

Some books on how to improve your photos (from Amazon):

Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto” Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parents’ Guide 500 Poses for Photographing Children

Videos of how to take photos of children from Youtube:

Baby Photography Tutorial & Tips – Ideas for Photographing Children

How to photograph energetic children outdoors

Taking Better Photos of Kids – Delly Carr

Photographing Kids: Working with Light

Find more more tips in the next and final post in the series (Taking great photos of children – Part 6)

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