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Posts Tagged ‘tip for photographing children’

Marcy and a Le Top model

The Le Top brand is known for working with vendors for years – one person we adore working with is our fashion photographer extraordinaire, Marcy Maloy. She photographs our seasonal campaigns but is also now part of the “Le Top family.” Marcy was on her way to Paris and we were able to squeeze out some of her time to interview her and give you and inside look from a photographer’s eyes on her passion for her career and photographing children. Read below for Part #1 of the interview. Tomorrow will be Part 2!

What advice can you offer parents for the top 3-5 tips on how to photograph a child? Portrait and snapshot.
Marcy:

  1. Always be ready!!! i.e. parents should keep their camera very accessible at all times. Most digital cameras are small so no excuses…Keep it in your purse or in the kitchen or just always nearby…and make sure the batteries are charged.  Special moments come and go quickly.
  2. Don’t direct your child. They will probably start hamming it up anyway, ruining a perfectly great moment…but if you just ignore them, they will usually go back to doing what they were doing. 
  3. Never ask your child’s permission to take his or photo.  Just start snapping without making a big deal of it and if they complain ignore them.  The idea is to try to get them to forget you and go back into their world so you can get something special. If you take enough photos it will be like a reality show and they will eventually forget that you are documenting their lives…and remember, some of the most priceless moments are when they are crying or have a dirty face or are mad at you. I used to shoot my daughters when they were mad at me or at something, and that would make them Really Mad!!  I got some priceless moments.

What do you find challenging at a children’s photo shoot?
Marcy:
The thing I find most challenging at a photo shoot is taking the energy of the room and the parents down so that I can get the child calm enough to capture a magical moment. Many times the parents are so nervous that their child won’t do “good” that they have ironically created a “no win” situation. Sometimes I will catch a parent off camera hissing at their kid to do “what the lady says.”


Tell us your most funny “stage mom” moment (a.k.a. crazy mom or parent trying to get their child to pose or do something funny).
Marcy:
The most hysterical funny moment I remember is when I looked just behind me and a determined Dad was actually doing a somersault on the concrete floor to get his daughter to laugh! It was incredible! I asked him to please stop, the child is terrified, and has no idea why or what’s going on or why their parents are acting so weird. I can’t ban a parent from the set especially if a child is young. Because the presence of their mom or dad is a calming factor, even though the parent is actually the nervous one.

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IMG_0057-correctedLike any mom I’m always on the lookout for tricks to make the photos I take of my child truly reflect how cute and special she can be. Children just don’t always cooperate, do they? I thought I would share a few pointers I have gathered to improve those home photos.

Lighting:
The best light is natural light, especially the time just after sunrise or right before sunset. The midday sun causes harsh shadows, and a squinting child is not as cute!  For indoor shots try placing your child near a window, or setting up additional lights to reduce shadows.

Preparing the space:
When taking a ‘posed’ shot keep the area clear, so you and your baby can move around easily.  Keep it simple; using a solid color blanket is always a good backdrop.

IMG_0192-corrected2Personality:
No matter what your child’s personality might be, you always want to capture a moment that truly reflects your child.  If you have a stubborn youngster (like mine) a smile may not be in the cards. Try for that perfect candid shot, when your baby is truly engaged with an activity.  You may not get a shot looking directly at the camera, but the lens might capture that peaceful little angel you know and love. When children are really excited you may catch the smile, but watch those quick movers you might get an image that is blurry.  Many point-and-click cameras have a setting for action – you get a better chance to truly ‘capture the moment!’ For little babies try catching them while sleeping, you can even pose them and really catch a sweet expression.  For older children pull out the camera when it is their ‘best time of day’ – don’t wait until they are tired.

IMG_0106-correctedPractice:
Great photographers take many photos to get the perfect shot. As an amateur you need to keep on clicking – including shots from all different angles, with different lighting and experimenting with setting you haven’t tried out on your camera. Zoom in on hands, feet and eyes or try coaxing a natural expression by asking them to show you a favorite toy.

Just remember…Have Fun!

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