Can you blame me for loving to photograph kids? What’s not to love? They’re adorable, spunky, silly, playful and absolutely beautiful! And I’m not just talking about my kids! Of course, my girls are in 90% of my images, but I’m a mom and that just comes with the territory. But every single child I’ve ever photographed has warmed my heart and taught me a thing or two!
What I love most about photographing kids, is they’re genuine joy in life. Whether I’m being silly to get them to laugh or asking them questions to soften they’re expressions — they are who they are, and I’m just lucky enough to work behind the lens, capturing their authenticity!
One of the best tips I ever learned about photographing kids was to get on their level. So many times, we grab the camera, stand exactly where we were and just snap. And sometimes it totally works. But sometimes, getting a different angle takes a photo from good to Oh My God! Getting eye level with them, that alone will make a huge difference in your shots. Shooting below them, making them look bigger totally works, too, especially when they’re playing super heroes! And obviously, if you want to reinforce how small they are, shooting above them helps, as does showing their scale in proportion to large items.
So along with changing my perspective… it usually means getting dirty. Most times when working with families, I show up to my photo sessions wearing yoga pants, layered camis or a T-shirt and a sweatshirt with pockets. Sexy, I know. But even though I truly was voted “Best Dressed” in high school (really, I was!), I know I’m not the one in front of the lens at our session, and more importantly, I want to get the best variety of shots with my clients. This usually entails me getting dirty. I get low on the ground. Like lie down, tummy on the grass / dirt / sand / pavement. I climb on things. I balance in awkward areas. As much as I am the opposite of a nature girl, I’ll get in the trees and rocks and mud to get the shot. It works!
In the image above, I got the shot I wanted. I had been trying to get a great shot of my little L in her favorite swing. But for today’s tip, I wanted to share the example of getting dirty to get the shot, and that’s how I got to that image above. What I was getting at first is this:
I was standing in front of her, pushing the swing, trying to get the shot. That’s probably what most of my park shots looked like before I started to really move around and get different angles.There was too much competing with my subject. The sand, the shadows, the bench, the path, and in this shot, the park visitor as well. The sky was gorgeous, but no where to be seen in this shot. So I changed my angle and decided I’d get on the sand, sitting criss-cross applesauce to get a different perspective.
A little better, but still too busy for me. So, I scooched in, pretty much getting as close and under her as I could without getting hit, almost laying on my back and started snapping a few more. I scooched in some more. Now I really needed to lean back every time she came forward in order to not get hit, and I really had to make sure she didn’t kick my camera, but it was worth it!
I wanted to get a better angle. I had to get sandy. Totally worth it! I also decided that the trees, sky and swing definitely pointed to this being in a park setting, and I didn’t really need the sand in the scenery to tell the story. I love this shot and the gesture in it. She loves to sing and swing, so that’s exactly what we were doing, getting her authentic self.
Some of the best shots are also sometimes the “in-between” shots – where you’re going from one location to another. That’s exactly what the image below is. I asked little L where she wanted to go next and as she was contemplating, I grabbed this shot. I just love her gesture here! I’m not big on back lighting and sun flare, but I think it is delicious in this shot!
Do you change your angles, your perspective when photographing kids? I definitely recommend it! Your world of captures will definitely open up! What’s been your favorite angle to capture your favorite kid capture? Please share in the comments – I’d love to hear!
Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!