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08-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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Tips for shooting kids...ok that sounds bad lol...*Photographing kids

so im an early stage noob and tomorrow im bringing my DSLR to the elementary school camp i work at. Can you all give me some tips on photographing kids/people/portraits? i wanna put the pics on a CD and give them to the parents, i don't need anything very specific but general rules to follow when dealing with situations like this. ill be doing some shooting outside as well as in the cafeteria, the light isn't great inside. Ill be using the kit lens but i also have a telephoto and a fisheye. Any help would be great!

Thanks guys!

-Nick

08-12-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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Get down to their level, don't stand and shoot down.
Use a largish aperture, they'll be impressed if your can blur the background!
08-12-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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excellent tips, thanks!
08-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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For outside, I like to use Tv mode at 180, +0.5 EV, with my flash up and flash exposure compensation dialed back to -1. This fills in shadows on the faces and maybe gives you a little catchlight in the eyes. Inside, crank up the ISO and see if you can avoid the flash. If not you can try the technique above but with a slower shutter speed. Get kids near a window if you can. Defintely get on their level. Good luck!

08-12-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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awesome man thats gonna be very helpful, thank you!!
08-12-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by iNick Quote
so im an early stage noob and tomorrow im bringing my DSLR to the elementary school camp i work at. Can you all give me some tips on photographing kids/people/portraits? i wanna put the pics on a CD and give them to the parents, i don't need anything very specific but general rules to follow when dealing with situations like this. ill be doing some shooting outside as well as in the cafeteria, the light isn't great inside. Ill be using the kit lens but i also have a telephoto and a fisheye. Any help would be great!

Thanks guys!

-Nick
Nick,

I once shot over 600 kids in one day at an elementary school in eastern TN... And I can tell you, by the time I was done I was wishing I was shooting bullets rather than photos. LOL

Anyway, assuming you don't have that many to shoot, get a small stool for them to sit on and then put your camera on a low tripod with the lens just about shoulder or chin level for the average child. Don't tell them to say anything stupid like "cheese." Just tell them to think of their mom or their dog and you will get a natural smile. Seat them at a 45% angle from the lens axis. Have the girls tilt their heads toward their front shoulder (feminine S) and have the boys tilt their heads slightly away from their front shoulder (masculine C). Do this yourself in front of a mirror and you will see what I mean.

I would also suggest shooting with the long end of the kit lens (assuming you mean the 18-55mm). Don't use the fisheye unless you want to do some creative group shots.

Good luck!

Mike
08-12-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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thats excellent, thank you very much. lucky its only about 70 kids that i have been working with every day for a while now, so they shouldn't give me too much trouble, i hope! thanks again!
08-12-2010, 06:26 PM   #8
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I would set up on a tripod and use a remote if you can. That will get your hands free to point, etc, and not be buried behind the camera.

Oh, and buy a tub of combs. Do not reuse them from kid to kid...

08-12-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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thanks! idk if ill be doing too many actual portrait shots, probably more candid and creative shots, but i do wanna practice so i will be experimenting, thanks again
08-13-2010, 08:05 AM   #10
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Chloroform works wonders :P

but in all seriousness, try and be as quick as effecient as possible while maintaining there attention (unless you are going candid). If you need to flail you left hand in the air shouting i'm a little teapot to grab their attention for a portrait then do it. Attention spans are all that long for chil...............oh look a kitty.
08-15-2010, 01:15 PM   #11
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The best way to shoot kids is to be one.

The next best way is to sedate them.

Lacking those, the next best way is to follow the above advise. Stay alert. Flash'em when they're shaded. Stay low -- lots of my best kid shots are taken while wandering among them, arms akimbo, P&S or dSLR with wide lens held nonchalantly in one hand below my waist level, aimed slightly upward, shooting without fuss. Depending on activities and locale, try to find low and high positions to shoot from. If you can get a batch of 1mpx P&S's cheap, pass them out so the kids can shoot each other, and the small pics can be matrixed into collages. Have fun! (And watch your back.)
08-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #12
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Kids move very fast, so for candids choose a focal length towards the lower end of the portrait range.
When my now teenaged daughter was little I found an 85mm lens far easier to use than my 105mm.
Of course I was using a 35mm film SLR. For you digital users a 50mm lens is probably your best bet.

Chris
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