The trick to taking kids pics

Alberni photography aficionado Norm Silverstone gives some tips and tricks to use when taking pictures of children.

Four months cancer-free. YES. I now get to go for cancer check ups every six months instead of every three months. As they say “ Old age is not for sissies”.

Easter Sunday dawned with a glorious sun and a definite promise of summer. Our morning was spent running around the back yard choosing places that were not too sunny to hide chocolate Easter eggs.

Around noon our three visitors arrived: mom with two children. Benjamin was one and a half years, and Audrey Rose was four-years old. Audrey Rose was very shy as four year olds tend to be while holding on to her mother’s leg and Benjamin just had a stunned look on his face. Evidently they had snoozed in the car on the voyage from Nanaimo to Port Alberni and had just woken up.

Of course my trusty Nikon and I were snapping away, shy or no shy as they walked down our front path. Because they were in the shade of our cedar trees I was shooting ISO 800, R A W format, 18-70mm lens set at 70mm, f10 aperture, 1/160 shutter speed.

Crouching down to shoot at their level while using the 70mm to bring them closer without being on top of them is one way to shoot young children. 1/160 of a second was fast enough should either child decide to make a run for it.

We all went through the house and went directly to the back yard for the Easter egg hunt. It was now high noon (although without Gary Cooper) and the sun was casting heavy shadows under their eyes, under their noses and under their chins on those lovely faces.

Lesley explained the rules of the Easter egg hunt, simply find the eggs before the chocolate melts. Audrey Rose found her first egg and her little face lit up with big smiles all traces of shyness gone. We are all aware of the rule “Don’t shoot between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.” because of the dark shadows and harsh sunrays. To counter the bright sun and harsh shadows, I crouched down, used fill-flash and shot at ISO 400, RAW format, f14 aperture, 1/250 shutter speed.

Before you shoot fill-flash make sure that you are aware of the flash sync speed of your camera so that you can set you shutter speed accordingly. The fill-flash got rid of the heavy face shadows while balancing the sun exposure so that the photograph was not over-exposed.

The trick of shooting children is to be part of the scenery, let them do their thing and be ready for those candid shots by being where they are going. When the eggs were all collected they drew on the patio concrete with huge sidewalk chalk , played fetch ball with Bella the dog until they got bored and then went inside to watch TV.

I set my camera to ISO 400, RAW, f4.5 aperture, 1/60 shutter speed and used fill-flash once more. I wanted the room to be bright as well as the children.

Are you taking Photos of your kids, I have the answers.

Any questions? Email me   ………  nsilverstone@telus.net

www.silverstonephotos.com