Candid shots of children

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by adamsfour, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. adamsfour

    adamsfour TPF Noob!

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    I have been using my own children as guniea pigs and am now moving on to friends kids. They have two or more mobile children so I need ideas of how to pose them or tricks to get good photos. I have the usual props ready, bubbles, balls, etc.
    We are shooting outdoors and I want very candid casual photos.
    I am also open to books that you can recommend.

    Here is what I have done with my 2 year old.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/speedolife/Matthew?authkey=iMauA8dKVVg

    http://picasaweb.google.com/speedolife/MatthewAtTheLake?authkey=h8qmtJCCJE0

    Also, how do I get that professional look to my photos. I have been told that I dont turn the camera enough, I am working on that.

    It is VERY ok to edit my photos, especially if you can offer cropping suggestions or how I could have framed a shot better.

    Thanks!
     
  2. grammaterri

    grammaterri TPF Noob!

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    wow is he cute! I don't have any advice lol, just wanted to say how darling he is

    btw I have 14 grandchildren ranging in age from 17 months to 12 years old
     
  3. adamsfour

    adamsfour TPF Noob!

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  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Try him face down, at this age he'll push himself up and you'll get a good front on shot, babies flat on their backs make boring pics. H
     
  5. grammaterri

    grammaterri TPF Noob!

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  6. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    Shoot without your flash - learn how to shoot in total manual with you picking your aperture and shutter. When you shoot with the on-board flash, you are getting "snapshot" light instead of professional lighting.

    There are several directions you can go with this...

    1. Learn how to work with natural light only.
    2. Learn how to bounce or manipulate "off camera" flash.
    3. Learn how to use strobe lighting.

    Or all three :)

    It's one of those things that you will need to decide what direction you would like to go....
     
  7. JenR

    JenR TPF Noob!

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    JodieO is a phenomenal photographer, so please listen to her advice -- She knows what she is talking about! :D

    I don't think I can help you in the posing department. If the kids are cooperative, I usually get the kids in a spot with good light then just talk to them or make silly faces or whatever else works to get them looking in my direction. I get their natural expressions and body language that way. Personally, I would rather have a photo that embodies their spirit and personality rather than a stiff, formal "posed" shot.

    I'm not sure how much post-processing you do on your images, but that might be another avenue to improve them. I grabbed this shot from the first gallery you shared. Let me know if you would like me to remove it.

    [​IMG]

    What I did:
    1) slight levels adjustment
    2) soft light layer at about 50% opacity
    3) sharpened

    Hope that helps a little!
     
  8. adamsfour

    adamsfour TPF Noob!

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    Thanks JenR! I like the editing. That is my sons "catching hands". The tounge is a new thing he has started, who knows with a 2 year old.
    Did you do anything special to bring out the color of his eyes other than what you listed? What program are you using to edit?


    JodieO - Your site is beautiful! Your photos are fantastic! Thanks for the advice. I never think to use the flash outdoors if it is sunny or overcast...
    1. How should I use my flash on overcast days or on sunny days in shade?
    I have a SB-600, should I point to the sky and diffuse, put on the apollo softbox and shoot straight on or bounce and use a white card?
    2. What method do you use to convert to Black & White? Your bw phots are so crisp.
    3. In your studio, are you shooting with strobe lighting?

    I have been trying to work with natural light, I pick the most bright overcast days and head out to shoot. Sometimes the sun comes out on me (like the lake photos) but the other photos in the park it was so bright, but no sun. I ended up with a blue hue on both days, ironic, huh?

    Here are more questions if anyone is in the mood:
    1. Do you always use flash outdoors, even if a fill flash isnt needed?
    2. Would a flash help with my WB issues?
    3. I got a grey card, should I still use a flash and/or do a custom WB every 15 mins?

    Thanks everyone for the help. I have no desire to be a professional, I just want my photos to look like I am.
     
  9. JenR

    JenR TPF Noob!

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    Glad you like the edit. I don't think I did anything special to his eyes, but I don't really remember now. Sometimes I will add a screen layer and extra sharpening just on the eyes to bring them out more. I use Photoshop Elements to do my edits.
     
  10. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You are taking the wrong approach to child photography. Some of my best shots have been when I was crawling around on the floor of a junior kindergarten classroom. The kids totally ignored me and were engaged in their own thoughts and their own activities and that made the best closeup shots. I also got shots of my daughter and our dog trying to play with the same toy. My larger dogs have always been gentle with little kids. One child lined up all his toys in front of my dog to play with. It made a great candid shot.

    Get the kids active, involved, doing things and interacting with toys, dogs, other children, adults etc. The result is much better photos.

    skieur
     
  11. davincisoprano1

    davincisoprano1 TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    they were watching the ducks in the fountain at the peabody hotel in orlando :)
     
  12. michaelb

    michaelb TPF Noob!

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    My kids are so sick of me taking thier picture, but im strictly film for now, but i only shoot natural light and have noticed the big difference since i started doing that
     

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