Child Photography – August 2016
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At the beginning of August I attended a Child Photography workshop with Robbie Aspeling. It was absolutely amazing and held in the beautiful Summerveld area of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Our gorgeous little model was Abby and a big thanks to her mom Darryn for allowing us to use her gorgous daughter. Abby was awesome as she was so very patient with all the photographers vying for her attention.
The shoot was in the late afternoon so the light was tricky with all the shadows. I learned a lot about the use of a fill in flash to try lift those shadows a little. I really enjoyed learning about, and using fill in flash and reflectors and have found that using fill flash outdoors a few times has given me great results. The fill flash techniques are interesting and varied and worthwhile experimenting with.
Child photography certainly has its challenges especially working with younger children who don’t have a very long attention span and are all over the place so there arent really any child photography poses to use as guidelines. You need to be able to think quickly about how to get their attention so that you can get your shot and giving them something to do is a great start. Some great child photography ideas are to choose a themed shoot that includes something they love and will keep them occupied as we did here with the teddy bear picnic.
We also learned to use a longer lens so that we didn’t need to get too close to the subject as well as getting a delightfully soft background. I learned that other reasons for the long lens was the distance to subject would also throw the background out of focus so that you could use a smaller camera f-stop to get more of the subject in focus. Not something I’d read or thought about in respect of photographing people or children before. This would also allow for a faster shooting speed which is essential when photographing smaller children as they move around a lot and very quickly. Standard f-stops are very interesting and I really do enjoy using them and playing with depth of field. It really is worthwhile reading about and investing in a camera fstop chart.
Working with outdoor photography props was fun but really did introduce their own problems with casting hues into the scene that then had to be accounted for by either just accepting the color cast or deciding to remove it in post production. Photography props don’t have to be expensive as you can shoot outdoors with simple props from your home or that can be purchased on sale from many places.
I would love to have tried using a reflector with the different sides as well as a scrim to see what the differences would have been. I’ll leave that for next time.
I believe that with child photography you should always get permission from the parents with regards posting images from your shoot on social media and websites. Written permission is the best but it’s only polite to ask first.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Robbie for sharing his knowledge with us and to Abby’s Mom, Darryn and of course little Abby for being so cooperative and patient.
For this photoshoot I used my Nikon D7100 and used both the 18 – 105 and 70 – 300mm lenses. I also used my flash situated off camera as a fill in flash.