Photographing Children

Photographing Children

Kids. Kids and brides used to scare the #$^% out of me. When I first got interested in photography, I did not want anything to do with either of them. No way. No how. Of course, that was before I was married and had a daughter ūüėČ It is funny how that has changed over the years. Weddings and family sessions can be among the most fun things to shoot (if everyone is cooperative). There are thousands of books and articles written on this subject. Everybody has their own ways to shoot and interact and, their own philosophies on how to interact and engage children. For those of you who might have kids or have photographed kids before you already know that there is nothing that you can do to make a 3-5 year old child do anything if they don’t want to. Bribery, threats, punishment, pleading none of that will work. The only thing that works is when what they want lines up with what you want. Before we shoot, I often ask parents that they set no expectation on small kids other than we are going to have fun. One of the worst things that we can do is to tell a child that he better smile good or else (or smile good and get a prize). For a good child that expectation is a stress that will end up showing in the pictures, for a not-so good kid it just creates more outbursts and trouble. I like to set up a photo-session that is mostly about play. We meet at a park, and go for a...

Windows to the Soul?

    I have heard many people argue about what makes a great portrait.¬† I have always been in the camp, that the eyes are the most¬†important¬†part of a¬†successful¬†portrait. There is an old saying often¬†attributed¬†to¬†Shakespeare¬† “Eyes are the windows to the soul” ¬†I¬†believe¬†that saying holds true in portrait photography. ¬†Here is a quick method to “pop” the contrast in the eyes. I am starting this Tutorial after finishing all the standard portrait editing ( that is a topic for another day). ¬†Create a duplicated layer (cmd+j), so you are working in a non-destructive manner. Here is where we start. Looks pretty good. There is a little fill light from the flowers, which I really like, nice soft light. ¬†The first step is choose the dodge tool (mdtones set to 41%) and paint the colored part of the eye, paying close attention not to hit the whites of the eyes. This will bring the¬†mid-tone¬†values up a bit (brighter) Then Grab the burn tool (shadows set to 10%) and paint over the same areas, it may take 2 passes with the brush (salt and pepper to taste, dont over do it tho….) Next we are going to brighten up the whites of the eyes with the dodge tool, I used the same settings as before. Notice that I just painted the area just beside the pupils, I do not want glowing alien eyes, just a little more contrast. It is looking pretty good, but when i zoom back, it looks a little strong, so, since I am working on a duplicate layer, I can just turn the¬†opacity¬†down a bit, and bring...