When photographing children 6 and under, I shoot lifestyle portraits. I find that a local park, their playroom, art room, or backyard are the best places to capture these portraits. I shoot any time of day. I do love the golden hours of course. However, I started my journey as a photographer on Oahu in the rainforest. The cloud coverage would come and go, it would rain, and then be sunny from one minute to the next. I’ve learned to use the sun as my key light, and the reflector as my fill to obtain many different lighting scenarios such as loop, butterfly, split, rembrandt, but mostly I love flat lighting. A lot of people do not. The picture of my daughter in her track uniform is butterfly lighting. All I had to was place the reflector on the ground just barely out of the frame. It created nice catchlights, and a a shadow under her nose. It was extremely overcast with rain showers coming in, so it wasn’t the most perfect day to capture more intense catchlights in her eyes, but I think we made it work!
The family in pink was photographed at 11am on a very sunny day, with zero cloud coverage. I just placed them in open shade for this shot. There were other shots where I brought them out in the open and had my assistant adjust the reflector until it created loop lighting. The family in blue was taken during the golden hour, on an overcast day in between snow storms. It was actually quite cold, I had cotton balls in my ears because of the cold wind blowing.
As far as posing families, I use the traditional ways to pose them for now. I like to have them mirror each other, and be close. You can think of diamonds, L’s, V’s, S’, triangle’s, reverse triangles to shape the family. Always remember to have them at different heights. As far as hand placement, I will go over various ways to pose. Hands in the pocket, hands in the pocket with thumb out, or thumb in the pocket and the other fingers out. Place hand in back pocket, on the hip, grab onto your necklace, or your scarf. Or lock arms with your other half. The girl in yellow posing in the grass was bribed with $5 and a lolly pop! The picture where she’s listening to her baby brother’s heartbeat, I just asked her could she show me how that works? Could she hear the heartbeat? I find that if I let the kids play and be themselves, all I need to do is participate whether as a friend, their pretend customer, or by being silly with them – I can get some great shots! Towards the end of the lifestyle session is when I will atleast try to get one pose out of them for the parents & grandparents to hang on their wall.
We are pleased to have Jill Hotujec on the blog today with a guest post about photographing children with special needs! Thank you Jill!
Follow her on Facebook: Jill Hotujec Photography
I am a professional photographer and pediatric Occupational Therapist and love what I do. When my son was born I discovered I also had a passion for photography and thus started Jill Hotujec Photography in 2010. I have found that my professional background has helped me immensely in my photography work. Photographers want to capture the moments that parents cherish and they often find it is difficult with children with special needs or Autism. There are a number of things that can be helpful to the photographer and the family and I will try to explain a few that work for me. It is a wonderful feeling as a photographer to know when you present your photos to your client that you have reached your goal to capture their child with Autism or special needs just as they see them.
#1 ~ Choosing the Location
Find out where this child will be most comfortable. Often it will be at their home in their backyard – more of a lifestyle session. I often try to choose locations outdoors with space for the children to move, but also away from playground equipment and distractions. I love it when it is a nature park with trails and open space!
This is a guest post by Veronica Gillis from Veronica Gillas Photography.
As professional photographers, we are asked a whole lot of questions. Honestly, almost everyone peppers me with them when they find out what I do. Usually, they ask about my camera and lens, or the props that I use. However, on one very magical Wednesday last week, a total stranger asked me a question that I guess no one had thought to ask before. And, well, I thought it was a good enough question that I should share it, and my answer, with you here.
Now, I consider myself to be pretty quick on my feet. I was totally expecting this young lady to ask me how to pose a newborn or what lens she should buy next. So imagine if you will, yours truly grasping for a coherent sentence when she asked me what three pieces of advice I would have given myself when I was just starting out.
Fantastic question! After six years of dabbling with photography, there are so many things that I wish I could tell amateur Veronica that professional Veronica knows now. I’ve picked out the five (I added two for good measure) that I think are most important for amateurs and hobbyists looking to go pro. If you let me, I would talk forever about all of the things I know now that I didn’t know then, but I guess that’s kind of the story of everyone’s life, isn’t it?
So without further ado, here are the answers that I gave her, and then some!
Guest blog post by Jackie Boldt.
#1 – Talk to the parents
This is vital when it comes to a lifestyle session. They may have a plan, or they may want you to come in and photograph whatever they happen to be doing during that time. Before you start shooting, you need to make sure you are on board with what the parents are looking for from the shoot.
#2 – Be ready for anything
This can mean naked children, silly expressions, pouting, crying, and gymnastics. You may think the parents would not want those types of photos. However, if they are booking you for a lifestyle photo shoot, those are exactly the types of photos they want!
Guest Blog Post by Whitney Schloss of Whitney Mara Photography
We’ve all been there. Friends and family tell us how ‘great’ our photos are. That we’re a natural behind the camera. We’re creative and whimsical and we should be a photographer. At least, that’s what they told me. And, we’ve all had similar reactions; ‘You’re just being kind’, ‘Oh don’t be silly’ and my favorite ‘Thanks, but you’re nuts’.
But sometimes, these compliments and comments get in to our heads and stay there. And if you’re anything like me, it’s almost as if there’s a challenge being presented and you can’t help but accept it.