Digital Child Photography
Digital Child Photography is lots of Fun, but hold your Nerve!
Digital child photography can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite hard work, especially if your subject is always on the move. While you can usually get children of all ages to pose quite successfully, if you aim for candid shots, digital child photography will enable you to capture some even more enchanting images. But you will need to approach children of different ages in different ways if you really want to make your way to the top in digital child photography.
Baby photographs can be gorgeous if you can get them right. Usually the best approach is to include mom or dad (or both) in the photograph with the baby, unless he or she is already able to sit up without too much support. Either way, make sure the infant is well rested and not hungry, otherwise you are likely to end up with a screaming or crying session. If you aren't used to babies, be warned that they can get tired and irritable quickly. Some even cry when approached by strangers - including photographers! But if you are relaxed, there is more of a chance that the baby will relax as well.
Apart from regular portraits, some images that work particularly well include close-ups of hands or feet. Try zooming into mom and baby's hands together. This kind of contrast usually works beautifully. Or ask the mother to hold her baby against her cheek, or to cradle the baby in her arms. If you're not keen to include the mother's face in your picture, ask her to look down.
Have a look at some of the mother and baby magazines on the shelves to get some more ideas.
Toddlers can be cute, but sometimes also tiresome. However you should be able to get some really sweet photographs. For example, try asking a toddler to dress or undress for the camera. Or take photographs of them eating. Don't be afraid to take lots of shots, because chances are only a few will really work well. You might also end up with a superb photo-story, with a series of photos telling the story.
Little ones learning to walk can give you some particularly amusing shots. Get down to the level of the child - on your knees or even lying down - and shoot as he or she moves towards you. Try using a slow shutter speed. It will produce a motion blur that emphasises action and looks quite humorous at the same time. Alternatively try panning with the moving child. To do this you will need to be standing or kneeling. Point your camera at the child, and move the camera with the child. As he or she moves across and in front of you, fire the shutter to take the shot. Or use a burst of flash to freeze the action.
Funnily enough, as children get older, they don't necessarily become easier to photograph. For example, primary school children will often strike completely unnatural poses if they know they are being photographed. This is a good reason to use the candid camera approach. If you hang around for long enough, they will usually get bored with the camera and carry on doing their own thing. That is just one of the secrets of successful digital child photography.