Guest Blog: Photographing Children
When I first came across Lizzy's Instagram page, I was in awe of her incredible photography & her gorgeous girl Ruby. We feel so lucky to be able to work with Lizzy & Ruby, they have been on our team for over a year now & I truly believe we wouldn't be where we are today without Lizzy!
We asked Lizzy to put together her top tips for photographing children. If you've ever struggled to photograph your kids (because I do, every single day!) you'll love this..
I’m Lizzy, the mama behind @the.little.letter.r and the creator and photo-taker at The Little Letter R Photography.
I’m the snack maker and bum wiper to our threenager Ruby who is my inspiration and muse behind my photography business. I wanted to capture her personality in a natural yet creative way in my photography journey and now I get that with other families, couples and children.
Photographing children is my absolute passion, maybe it’s because I never know what to predict since the little monkeys lead how the shoot will go, or maybe it’s because you can tell a large story with tiny subjects - from those cheeky smiles from a full of life toddler, the joy captured from watching a butterfly flutter past, the candid and in between moments between siblings to capturing the innocence that is childhood.
As challenging as it can be at times photographing children is very rewarding and below are some of my favourite pieces of advice I have been told or learnt along the way.
- Photograph children how they are, and not how you would like them to be. Sometimes the best photographs are the completely unplanned and impromptu ones.
- Photograph children in their natural environment, where they can laugh and play. Trying to get a toddler to stay still long enough, let alone pose, will just result in frustration for you both. And the day will be no fun for anybody. Just go with the flow.
- Silliness goes a long way! Often when I am photographing Ruby I think any passers by must think I’m nuts with the amount of games, dancing and singing we do, whilst I click away. Lately ‘Simon Says’ is proving to be a favorite and a real winner as is singing and dancing to ‘Rockabye Bear’ from The Wiggles.
- Know your equipment inside and out. You only get a short window with children before they get bored or tired, so you need to be able to shoot and change settings quickly. I love to photograph at locations with lots of natural light and ones that can provide a variety of shots.
- Fast shutter speed! Ruby likes to channel her inner Usain Bolt at times, so I never drop my shutter speed below 1/500 as you want your images to be sharp and not a blurred motion of a toddler who is running away from you. Commonly my settings to start off a session will be f 1.8 or 1.4 (depending on what lens I am using) ISO 50 (that’s as low as my camera goes, you might find your camera may only go down to 100) and I will then adjust my shutter speed to the lighting conditions, never dropping below 1/500. Once I reach 1/500 I will then start to increase my ISO if I need more light.
- I often get asked what camera I use; I use a Sony a7iii which is a professional level full frame camera and I shoot on manual mode. My favorite lens for photographing children is my Sony 85mm 1.8. This lens give a soft creamy bokeh, and is sharp as a tack. I also don’t have to be miles away from my subject but I’m not right up in their face with my camera like when I use my sigma art 24mm lens.
- Sony, Canon and Nikon all have great entry level cameras that are pretty much on equal playing fields, but it’s not so much the camera that makes a photo great; it’s the person clicking the shutter. Learning how to use your camera is the most important part of taking sharp, clear, and correctly exposed images. I recommend learning how to use your camera on manual mode as once mastered, it gives you full control of the settings rather than letting the camera decide for you.
You can find me over at https://www.instagram.com/the.little.letter.r or https://www.instagram.com/thelittleletterrphotography and I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have or if you just want to take a nosey at my work!