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Child Portraiture, by John Bradford

John Bradford Photography

John Bradford Photography

Child Portraiture
by John Bradford, Professional Photographer

Whether you are a parent, grandparent or a professional, capturing that special moment of a child at play comes close to the top of many a parent and photographer’s list. This is especially true when it comes to photographing your own child. Many of the best children’s photographs are of spontaneous events or happenings and not planned in the formal sense.

When you consider how fast children grow how can we capture those fleeting moments in their lives? Also consider that children are constantly evolving both emotionally and socially. Children can be hilarious and thought provoking especially when allowed to roam or explore in their home environment.

Here’s a few pointers that should help in capturing better photographs.

1. Keep your camera close at hand and not upstairs or in some drawer.
2. Be sure you can take at least 30-50 photographs on your camera at any one time. .
3. Review the status of your battery prior to photographing. At night is a good time to charge the batteries.
4. Double check that your lens is clean or not obstructed. Use an approved lens cleaner and soft tissue or camera lens cloth.

Photography Techniques

1. After grabbing your camera, move swiftly but not hurriedly towards the
child. Try to act normal so as to not distract the child.
2. Start photographing at floor level or at the same level as the child.
3. If using flash be cautious if closer than 4-5 feet or you may get a burned out look.
4. As most cameras have auto focus keep the child in the center of the frame which is where most auto focusing occurs.
5. No matter how good a photo you take, the face and specifically the eyes must be in focus.
6. Be sure to hold the camera steady and squeeze the release button. There can be a delay of a second or so between pressing the release and the taking of the actual photo.

Post Shooting Editing

1. When you have accumulated 25-30 photos, review them as to their quality and whether you’re capturing the expressions that you want. Discard the poor photos. Remember there’s much to be learned from the bad photos.
2. If shooting jpg files (photos) and most cameras do, your photos have been already edited or “tweaked”. Don’t hesitate to put your own personal touches on your photos. Most computers and on-line photo sharing have this capability.

John Bradford is a contributor to ARTAZINE and a professional photographer based in Redding, CA. He offers classes on photography from beginning to advanced. Visit John Bradford's websiteto see his work and contact information.

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