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Monday, July 25, 2011

CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY: 5 tricks on how to engage the kids

You know kids--we love them, we hate them. Depending on who's kid we are talking about and what age group you are at. When it comes to photography, it's the same story. This is because children are probably one of the most tricky subjects to do photography with. They could be compared to the tamest of tamed animals or wildest of the wild. For sure they show a wide range of emotions thereby making them very unpredictable.

It is for these reasons though that they are very interesting subjects if you are a photographer. One that I want to really get serious with in the future. I am glad that I have a couple of friends with cute kids so I contacted one of them for a shoot one weekend in UP-Diliman grounds. Not without Alex around of coarse,another friend and a very good mentor in portraiture photography where I am weakest at.
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Sibling Bonding: Paul and Ponter
There are many tips that you can get online and they are really very helpful. Here, I would to discuss a few and relate them to my very limited experience. I got the chance to engage my friend Alex to shoot the kids of another friend Inah and this first Kids Photography experience for me really taught me a lot of things.

KIDS/CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY tricks

The first requirement is to engage them, to get them into the moment.. Once done, all else depends on your equipment and skills.

1. Make them play
This is what kids love doing the most. For them, the world is a fairyland to explore and play into.Take advantage of that. And this sound a little easy right? Actually not. And so it is important that you have interests in kids because at some point, you also have to play with them. Maybe not to the point of running after them and stuff but verbally.It is necessary for you to be able to draw the emotions and get them into the moment. And if they get too playful and don't wanna stop, remember that patience is a virtue.lols

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2. Make them laugh and go with their mood
Unless you wanna make them cry. haha. Well, they usually laugh when they play but some kids are emotionless when they explore, lols again. Yeah, especially if there are strangers around, some kids are usually quiet. Yeah, they play, they explore, but they seem to been confined in their own little universe. While making sure you capture those candid moments where everything is natural, try to make them burst into laughter and you see a different aspect. Take for example Paul (left on the photo above) and Bernard (right), while Bernard was all smiles while playing, Paul was all serious. There's nothing wrong with that. It's natural of him. But when we asked their mom (Inah) to make him laugh, it was a totally different ball game. That's what Alex and I realized that Paul is really cute and he has this cutest of all cute smile. He has lines on the face which i find really amusing. see photos below
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Baby Paul's cute smile: where are those lines from?
3. Use fast lens
Since your subjects are constantly moving (even on studio shoots) it's important that you shoot in fast shutter speed. A fast lens would therefore be very helpful. Unless you want to see most of you shots blurred. You might as well consider bringing a telephoto especially when shooting outdoors if you want to capture really candid moments. The farther the kids are from the photographer, the more natural they become. It would be difficult chasing them around the field if you have a prime lens for example. You might want to lure them around you first before you van take some nice shots.
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Alex playing with Ponter
4. Use props
TOYS were created to draw the best out of kids. Make the most out of them. Bring toys and props which can not only compliment your photo when included in the frame but to keep the kids interested and energetic. Once they lose interest and interest, that's it. Pack up and try again next time.
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candid moments with the siblings
5. MOTIVATE the moms
Sometimes, it is not about how interested the kids are, but how excited the moms are.hahaha.Seriously!!!So it is very important that you keep the mom involved in the process. They hold the remote control in increasing the energy levels of the kids and therefore, the success of your shoot. To be in control of the kids is to be in control of the moms. Alex and I were lucky because Bernard and Paul's mom is our friend(Inah). Whatever we want the kids to portray, we asked for the help of their mom. After the shoot, it was not just us the photographers who were tired but Inah as well as Celine, another friend who is also dear to the kids.

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the kids with mommy Inah
If you are going to ask me about the financial aspec,say, if it is financially rewarding, I am not really sure. Barely more than a year since I started photography, I still do it as a hobby, ,more on the

As in any people photography, the best trick is your ability to connect to your subjects.Once you understand and feel them, you can anticipate their next movements, their emotions and therefore you get better angles and  more candid shots. It's not everything about the sharpness of the photo, or the beauty of the surrounding or the how colorful their clothes are. Many photographers fail because they fail to capture the moment--- the drama, the emotions and sometimes the lack of it.

Thanks baby Paul and Ponter!!Shoot tayo uli next time!!!:D
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more Kids Photography tricks here:
http://www.hendralauw.com/2010/05/10-children-photography-tips/

16 comments:

  1. gustung gusto ko ang mga kids kunan ng litrato.. ewan ko ba. hahaha mas ok sila kesa adult na pasaway

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  2. gusto ng anak ko un cars at dinosaur na hawak ng pamangkin.. ngpapabili nga eh pero ang ganda ng kuha

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  3. Cute kids!
    Thanks sa mga tips ah. I'l try to use them with my little poj. =)

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  4. Wow. Ang cute. Lalo na nung 2nd photo. Parang super candid lang. Haha. Ikaw naa!

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  5. whahaha nagkids photography ka na din.. apir... iba talaga pag mga bata ang mga kinukuhan mo di ba ang sarap ng feeling see the real emotion :D

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  6. @Bino--wag ka maingay pero mas nahirapan din ako komonek sa mga adults.andun yung hiya--at baka kasi mag--inartemas okay mag inarte ang bata kesa adults.I agree on you on this one.hahaha

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  7. kakatuwa nga sila. ayos ang mga tips. very practical.

    yung iba talagang di na kailangan mag papose kasi pagkakita pa lang ng camera sila na mismo mag pose.

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  8. Vt1--akala ko gusto mo paglaruin na me totoong dinosaur.hahaha

    @empi--yep.kaya nakakatuwa.pero pag iyakin siguro nakakainis din no?hahaha

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  9. kalokang Pinay--pag anak mo.madali na.or madali nga ba? diko pa natry eh.lols

    rah--mukhang kids photg din ang tema sa blog ah.:D

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  10. Thanks for this tip! Gusto na agad itry sa mga pamangkin ko.

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  11. @Yow--candid na ---super pa.FTW!!!lels

    Axl--uo naman.nauna actually to--super late post lang.di pwedeng ikaw lang no!!!lols

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  12. Thanks for these wonderful tips!

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  13. I love working with kids whether teaching them or photographing them. It doesn't feel like work, parang naglalaro lang palagi :)

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  14. mas gusto ko mga bata kinukunan kaysa sa adults... mas natural ang reaction nila, at makikita mo talaga ang sincerity ng expression nila.

    Thanks for the tips, sir!

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