Monday, April 20, 2009

Tips for photographing children - part 1

(c)2009 Jennifer Dennis Potter

The most important thing to watch for when photographing children is the light. It is also the trickiest thing to learn to see. I want to offer some simple ideas to keep in mind about light.

-Time of day is important: children have delicate features, so you want to keep light soft. Photograph in the morning, before the light is bright, or in the evening. This also reduces the "raccoon effect" of dark shadows in the eyes.

-Reflect the light: photograph your child on a white blanket, either inside or outside and turn off the flash. You can also buy a piece of white foam core or poster board (or a professional reflector) and have someone else reflect the light into the child's face. This gives a soft light.

-Turn off the flash: most bad photos of kids involve flash. Use it for events, when you want to capture a moment when your child is moving (like a soccer game or dance), but turn it off for a portrait. If you have a professional flash, you can diffuse it with a small soft box designed for flashes.

My next post will be about photographing children: location.