People

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If anyone cared to ask what kind of photographer I am, I would say a landscape and nature photographer. But lately there seems to be a lot of babies in the neighbourhood that I can't resist photographing. 
It got me thinking to way back, almost 30 years ago.
We started having kids which, as anyone with kids can attest, 
is a full time endeavour. 
Getting out to shoot landscapes and nature 
wasn't so easy, so I turned my camera to the kids.

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 Lucky for me newborns don't move around too quickly, and I was able  to hone my skills gradually, eventually speeding up the process 
to keep up with their quickly changing moods and activity levels.

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Though almost 30 years have gone by, and I need to find new subjects, the principles remain the same. Be it babies, toddlers, weddings or 
travel photography, the challenges are the same. 
How to capture a personality or story in a pleasing, effective, 
and captivating way. 
I personally tend to gravitate to non posed shots. 
People behaving naturally are the shots that are timeless.

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As with most any capture, it's all about the light. My go to lens 
 is a fast macro lens. It allows me some distance from the subject, 
works well in low light and gives that nice blurred background we so often seek. Plain backgrounds work to keep the focus on your 
subject. 
Getting in super close to newborns is an effective way to 
capture emotions. Try turning your camera to shoot vertically.

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Unless I'm doing a group shot, I tend not to use a tripod. My shutter is set a little faster, ISO and aperture are set accordingly, 
and I often use the little  + or -  light button. 
Most cameras have this option and I use it a lot, check your camera's manual if you've not discovered this yet. 
I prefer to use natural light. If you're indoors and near a big 
window with side light or if the shadows are too great, you might
try a home made reflector; a white bristol board or tin foil will 
typically do the trick.

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 If I'm outdoors, an overcast day is 
preferable to avoid harsh shadows. 
Your flash is handy outdoors, even on a sunny day, 
It helps soften shadows, giving a more even light.
 Black and white generates softer tones.
 
With small children, it's important to get the timing right, 
and I'm not talking about shutter speeds. 
Well rested and well fed children 
are likely to be more pleasant and co-operative than 
hungry, sleepy children. 
Getting down low to their level, makes them feel comfortable 
and also gives pleasing perspectives. 
Consider capturing a child playing, eating, or in the bathtub. 

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If you are doing a shoot with someone else's kids, hang back a bit, 
capturing them playing or sitting quietly. 

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For some reason, when kids get a little older, they feel the need to stick their tongues out at the camera. I find the more you have your camera out, the more accustomed they become to being photographed. 

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As for photographing people while travelling, the same principles 
apply. Plenty of light, some distance from your subject. 
Get to know them, chat it up and make sure they're comfortable 
with it, in the meantime putting some context to the scene. 

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Points to ponder
Get in close with a lens that allows some distance.
Plain background.
Natural light.
Faster shutter speeds.
Vertical position.
+/- button.

Without naming names, Thank You to all the generous folks who agreed to let me showcase their wee ones. Perhaps some day I'll get to use 
these skills on my own grandkids.

I hope you all get the opportunity to photograph people at some point
Turn your camera around, selfies are over rated...








 


 

Published by

dailydosephotos

Photographer of most anything to do with landscapes, and nature in general from backyard to around the world

2 thoughts on “People”

  1. I’ve missed these posts! Thanks for the suggestions. The first photo of the child gazing at you is incredible. Love the B&W of Alana, too!

    Like

  2. Great advice Nicolette! I, too, prefer unposed people photos! So much more character! Love the photos you chose to illustrate your points!

    Like

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