Capturing Childhood - Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids Part 3

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If you've been following our tips for taking better photos of your kids over the holidays, and beyond, here's the last part. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. In this part we'll look at movement, the details, shooting through the seasons, and finding your style. 

THE DETAILS
It's great  to take photos of the little details. It might be a favourite toy, little feet, sandy hands. Important details that make up the essence of a child.

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And then on the other hand, show the child in their environment, a small person in a big world.

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THE SEASONS

Shooting through the seasons can be a great way to document your family's story over a year. If you're starting out as a portrait photographer, it's a great way to build your portfolio. Maybe ask family and friends if you can take photos of them. Just having images of these different times of year can give your work a cohesive feel, and think about all that lovely light you're going to get! We always get very excited when a family books us for a winter shoot. Not only those big coats and bobble hats, but maybe there might be mittens on string, wellies, a flurry of snow, and of course, that gorgeous low light! You can always start or end the shoot at home where big mugs of cocoa are on hand.

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MOVEMENT

There is inevitably going to be some running and racing around, on our shoots we actively encourage it! If you have a DSLR, you will most probably have a setting on your camera that will continuously focus if this is what you’d like to go for. I like to freeze movement so I will have my shutter speed quite high.

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But sometimes I like to show movement too, so my shutter speed will be set to show running or a jumping on the bed moment!

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SETTINGS VS CREATIVITY

We talked about this a lot on our last capturing childhood retreat. The technical aspects are important so you're shooting knowing you're in control of your camera, but sometimes I think we can be panicking so much about what aperture and shutter speed we're on that we can miss moments. Those shots that even though may be 'technically imperfect', will still shine through as it gives you those goosebumps. I love this quote by Peter Adams; 'Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field'.

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FINDING YOUR STYLE

It would be boring if we all took the same shot. That’s what makes me tick as a photographer, people’s interpretations. Try things out, experiment. You’ll start to see and feel something in your photos that you love, maybe it's the kind of light you like. Some of you will know that I've been enjoying taking freleensed shots in some of my portrait shoots. I detach the lens and then hold it close to the camera body. It can give a photo an ethereal, dreamy feel with different focal points and light leaks.

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Portrait Photography Yorkshire

PRINT YOUR IMAGES!

You often hear people saying that their most treasured possessions are their photos. For me, it’s the images of me and my sister growing up over the years, and the adventures we had. We still love to huddle around the photo albums, reminiscing days gone by. I'm so grateful for having these images printed. Something tangible to hold and touch. This feeling me and Suzi both had about our photos led us to create our own photo wallets for clients.

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We really hope you've enjoyed the Capturing Childhood blogs, and that they have been useful to you. We still have a couple of places left on our next Capturing Childhood Photography Retreat over the weekend of September 22nd & 23rd. Looks like we've got a lovely bunch of people coming from all over the country, and if you'd like to be part of it, we'd love to have you along. I can't tell you how much me and Suzi love these weekends, it's a safe learning environment with lots of practicals, discussions and lovely homemade grub! You can have a look at more information and book your place here.

In the meantime, if you do have any questions, me and Suzi would be happy to help, just ask away. Happy photographing, and maybe we'll see some of you on a retreat soon!

All the best

Sarah & Suzi x

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This Family Life - Rowan

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It's In The Look.

When  Rowan's Mum was booking this shoot, we had the most lovely email from her. In it she wrote; 'It's just occurring to me how much I want to capture the magic and wonder in Rowan's eyes, and the way she looks at us.'' Rowan is one of life's adventurers, and between the exploring, frog tickling and flower picking she did on her shoot, there were those beautiful moments where she was just looking with wide smiley eyes at her Mum and Dad. Here's Rowan's shoot...

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After our shoot together, Rowan's Mum left such kind words on our Facebook page. We always feel a bit funny about sharing this stuff, but these words just summed up why we do what we do; 'Sarah beautifully captured a time in our lives we will treasure. From our first enquiry to collecting our photographic prints, Sarah and Suzi have been a joy to work with. They both have a natural gift to put children at ease. Our daughter adores them. We couldn’t have been happier with the images and really appreciated the time Suzi took to advise us on our products. Until the next time, for I have a sneaking suspicion there will be many more, thank you both'.

As we are waiting for our own little one to arrive, we are slowing down on our family shoots and starting again in September. As we head into the first wave of autumn, if you'd like to book a shoot for your leaf kickers and light catchers, please do let us know.

Capturing Childhood - Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids Part 2

Following on from Part 1 the other day which you can see here, this post is all about composition and creating depth in images. Hopefully these tips will make your photos pop, and help to capture the essence of your kids and their little characters!

COMPOSITION

It's not the easiest thing to think about composition when your kids are racing around, but it does help your photos stand out. It's not always about positioning your subject in the middle of the frame looking right at you (although this can look great too), images can be wonderful with the subject positioned  to one side of the frame with lots of negative space.  

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You can have a quick Google at the rule of thirds if you're not familiar with this one. I wouldn't sweat over it, but it sometimes helps. Also, look for natural frames, a frame within a frame, we love looking for these.

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POINT OF VIEW

One of the first things we say to folk when they ask for help with photographing kids, is to get down to the child’s level. I have what I call my photographer’s knee, all my jeans are slightly more worn on the right knee, as this is where I bend!

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Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

Or sometimes you’ll find me lying flat on the floor too. Try standing over your child too looking down. 

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CREATE DEPTH

Sometimes images can look a bit flat, and don't quite turn out how we're seeing with our eye. One tip for this is to create some depth in your images, use lines like paths and trees to lead into your subject.  

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You can also shoot through things too like grass and leaves, by having them in the foreground and your subject further away - this gives the image another dimension.

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

These tips are certainly not exhaustive, but we do hope they help in some way. In the next post we'll have a look at photographing details, movement, and finding your style.

And if you're interested in any of our training courses, please do let us know so we can put you on the mailing list. Our next retreat is Capturing Childhood on September 22nd & 23rd this year. Do you want to take better photographs of your little people? Are you just setting up your portrait photography business and want to take beautiful emotive shots that really make you feel? Our Capturing Childhood weekend offers a unique opportunity to learn new skills and techniques to create photos of those real moments that make your heart skip a beat. There's a link to more information about the retreat here.

As always, if you'd like to share any of your photos - we'd love to see them!

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