Friday, February 27, 2009

Kid photography... and other impossible adventures

I know I've posted about this before. Actually, maybe even here too. (If you can get past the I-Can't-Believe-That-Stuff-Happens-In-Real-Life part of it).

But seeing all the amazing photos on iHeartFaces has convinced me that successful photographs of children are underrated. Seriously, do you realize all the factors that must be perfect in order to get a great shot?

Sure, there's all the technical aspects, but there's all kinds of things that you just can't control.

Like umm... the lovely confused weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Which lends itself to lovely confused lighting.

And of course, you cannot forget the mental status of your subject. Is he hungry? Is he tired? Is he grumpy? Is he TWO?

The staging elements play a part - especially when your props break, a puppy runs nearby, and your toddler licks the window he's standing next to.

Whatever the scene, you're gonna get a whole lotta nothing when your kiddo won't even look at the camera.


After reading some tricks about how to get your child to look at the camera... I tried one out. Thanks
Stacy, but the whole, "look honey, there's a bug in the camera" thing didn't work.

It led at first to a very concerned kid:

(I know... too old for a bottle. Don't judge - he's got that kidney thing and we'll take liquids any way he manages it for now :)

Who quickly turned into a very curious kid.


Or when you can't slow them down enough to capture anything but a blur.


And when you finally get a less-blurry shot... you realize that he's pulling a Michael Jordan.


Or the sun makes an appearance and triggers this face:


So you work on expressions, and he finally gets the BIG SMILE part down. Only, now he's squinching his eyes shut.


And you've worn the poor kid out and he finally cries in frustration: "No more mamarazzi!"

(either that, or "I'm blind! I'm blind! Turn off the flash you rookie!")

But every now and then; even if the technical aspects aren't right... you wind up with a shot that somehow captures how you felt in that moment.


(All of you fellow iHeartFaces addicts... I am totally open to suggestions on shooting and editing. I'm loving the awesome forum for learning!)


Lynsay said...

Cute pictures! I know nothing about photography, wish I did! We were at that park a couple of weeks before we left (my husband and fam are from Oly) and my daughter saw a guy doing Tai Chi and said "hey mom, that guy is pretending to be Chinese!" That is Olympia for you! Your little guy is adorable!!!

Rachel said...

Come out, come out! All you fellow Pacific Northwester's... please delurk! I love hearing stories of close calls like this!

Heather said...

Love the captions... I'm so glad I found you, because I'm loving your sense of humor!! heehee And I adore that last picture... what a great set-up for it. : )

Yes, we need to have a MckPinic in Olympia! Tumwater falls - great idea! Now, when will the weather cooperate? It was sunny today, but I still can't have my boy the in freezing cold. Maybe in a month or so we can arrange a big hook-up!

He & Me + 3 said...

You are so funny Rachel. I love the last shot. So sweet and his face does say it all. Beautiful.

Kelli W said...

I think all of your photos are SUPER cute!! They don't have to be perfect to be cute!! I have the same problem with all my pictures looking blurring...I can't decide if it is my cheapo camera or my overactive boys that cause the blur!!

jennykate77 said...

I don't have any advice...I'm learning too. I LOVE your pics...even the not so perfect ones...they are so cute and really capture moments and expressions.

Kids are so unpredictable, but that's what makes them so great. I just cross my fingers and hope to get that "perfect" pic every once in a while. In the mean time, I just take whatever I can get.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Melinda said...

I wish I had some advice, but like you I'm still learning. I absolutely LOVE this post though. Thanks for keeping it real : )

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

He is adorable. I think my kids run now when they see me grap the camera...

Keri said...

I'm wishing I had some good advice, but I don't. I'm just a rookie myself. Gotta tell you though, Itty Bit is such a handsome little man! His eyes are stunning! Love the picture of his curiosity. So sweet.

Pam said...

Look, I can't even get TO all of the technical stuff for the sheer fact my girls start acting like little APES when the camera rolls out.

They get all goofy and squirrely; like a Mother would WANT to photograph her little darlings acting like animals.

It does not help that one always encourages the other in this most annoying behaviour!

I love how he's hiding from you but my fav is the one where you can see him holding Mr. Daddy's hand. So SUUWEEET!

Hey, we were just talking about Popeye the Sailor Man tonight at the dinner table. The girls got all giggly eating their spinach while we were singing(poor table manners, I know!) the Popeye song.

Kameron said...

You are so funny about the bottle thing! You could just see brows scrunched in disaproval! I've learned that people will jugde no matter what you do, so do what works for you and shrug off everyone else!

It is so hard to shoot a moving target. I get so many blurred shots of my son it is ridiculous. I wish I had a better camera with a faster shutter speed, but that will have to wait. I'm just learning Photoshop so I don't have any tips for you, but I'll be checking back to see what people told you!

Paige said...

I like your idea about the "bug" in the camera. I'll have to try that. Mine are getting a little tired of me taking pictures, especially close up. More of my photos are starting to include entire grocery stores.

I would love to hook up with you and Heather at the park. I'll pray for good weather soon!

Anonymous said...

Yes there is so much MORE to photography than I EVER imagined in my wildest dreams! I have nightmares of aperture, exposure, f-stops, and white balance! It's NOT easy to learn, it's time consuming, confusing, and oh so worth it when it all fits together. Sometimes it fits, and sometimes it doesn't, and we just go with it. LOL

Gosh, we need a message board just for us, huh? ;)

And seriously, I want that last photo. Will you email it to me? I wanna play wif it. ;)

Killlashandra said...

My favorite is the tongue shot. ;) And yes, it seems we end up resorting to all kinds of tricks and treats to get kids to smile and look at the camera.

Stacy said...

Love that last shot, but they are all hilarious. He is suffering from PCS (photographer's children syndrome), and I'm afraid the cure is hard to come by. ;) My kids have gotten to the point where they are so used to it they aren't fazed by it. I think it also helps that as I've gotten past the learning stage, my camera isn't constantly in their faces so they are better about it now. :)