How I shoot children pt 1

FALL FREE SHOOT – The 4th annual charitable shoot

In years past I would have worked on one big long post about my yearly Free week of photo shoots which have been known as my” Fall Free Photoshoot” or the “Charity Shoot” because I donated whatever they gave to a charity or this year the “Charitable shoot” because I made people pay nothing to do the shoot but it was about me giving back to all my past clients (specially past bride and grooms)

In part the big post was in order to get them done and out of the way and jump back into editing of lots of other stuff.

Lots of posts

This year I feel I owe you more posts and great information… I have been slacking in my blog posts department so I’ll work on queueing a bunch of posts interesting to both future client and photographer and of course friends who just love to see nice pictures.

BABIES

I’ve often wondered how I would approach the subject. I see lots of people putting babies and little kids in all sorts of crazy situations. Boots,boats, buckets, balls, bears and bellies.

I wondered if to be successful I would have to shop for a long list of items to keep the photography fresh and have people like my pictures of their kids.

I do a lot of weddings and a lot of travel, yes there are kids at these places and I take pictures of them… but for a shoot to be all about kids that would be different.

Do we change our style when it comes to another field? I’ve found my answer. NO

Focus on what you’re best at.

For me it’s about the personality, the person, making a connection for the viewer of the picture to the subject in the picture. It’s the same in weddings as it is in children photography (for me)

And according to my style a lack of clutter and props helps my viewers to focus more of their attention on what I think is most important… the child. We can call this my laziness for finding and buying creative things, but it does work with my style of photography and if freeing myself up helps, then so be it.

WHEN PROPS WORK (for my style)

Now hey if the parent brings something like a prop for an idea of theirs… so be it… the thing is it’s now a part of them. It’s a mixture of their child and their own creativity, this is a view of the interaction of child and parent.

And when they see their picture they’ll see a family picture with only the child in the picture, and I won’t recreate an exact vision of the parent but I’ll bring out the personality of their idea. I’ll personalize their idea to them in accordance to my way of seeing.

Pictures with meaning

If I come up with some neat idea my job is to make it ours, not mine, alone.  I want them to feel like we were all a part. Looking back at the picture they weren’t just a model or a pawn in my game. But the creative process we experienced together and came up with it as a team.

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Sure I just suddenly thought: “wouldn’t it be cool if we could focus on the daughter by having the mother in but not really”. Almost like a bride holds a bouquet (coming from the mind of a wedding photographer) like a detail shot. But in this case it’s a child. And that child might be called…”hey look here” but they can do what they want as long as it’s not “nothing”

I call for a child’s’ attention not because I want every picture to be of them looking at me, but because there are going to be tons of pictures naturally of them looking away and from time to time they’ll look at me and parents are happy to have a good mixture of those as well.

But if I can remember correctly about the picture above she was probably holding her in a position somewhat like this and probably just told her to exaggerate it more. To hold her lower and straight… like she’s sitting.

It really is one of my favorites… because it’s the personality of the girl, the mom is there, you know it’s her, there’s still connection and all the clothing the parent wanted to show off are all there.

No ball, boot or bucket needed. This is me.

THE TITLE

It never gets old the ambiguity in the meanings of “shoot”

4 Comments

  1. Sarah says

    She’s adorable. I agree, you don’t need the ball, boot or bucket. You captured the emotion without them.

  2. Jacie Saltzman says

    when i have babies someday you will be my main man. well my main shooting man. … you know what i mean.

  3. Robbie Petersen says

    I agree that with children, props
    are over done and they only seem
    “original” when the children are
    shot with crazy props or in some
    place is that way out of the ordinary. I like your thoughts about this. I’ve have only take pictures of infants a couple times and I think your thoughts are exactly what I thought while taking them.

  4. Eric Quinney says

    Loved the idea of using the Mom as a prop so to speak but her not being part of the picture. Shooting kids has to be a tough challenge in some respects but if one were to jsut capture them being who they are, it would seem to be easier in the can relax and be themselves more easily.

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