Useful Photography Tip #34: Dealing with Other Parents

Sometimes as photographer, not matter the time of year, I am going to have to get shots of my kids. Weather it’s in school, summer camp, or just a birthday party. You have to, sometimes, battle through other parents to do so. You don’t want to seem pretentious, confrontational, but you do want to get the best shots you can of your kids. Shooting amongst other parents can be a battle field, here are some tips to get you through.

Gear

Your going to have to make your way past a lot of parents. You don’t need to bang your gear around in the  process. Try to travel light, a blackrapid strap, a micro four thirds camera, and a lens with a lot of reach should help. You don’t know where you will be standing, however you want to get your shots, a lens like a Tamron 24-70mm or a Sigma 18-25omm will work well. Whether you at a sports event or in a auditorium, it’s good to be prepared.

Settings

You don’t have to have super expensive lenses to get your shot. If you adjust your settings, you can keep your shutter speed fast enough to keep your images sharp. Do be afraid of a little grain in your shot, use a high ISO and if your shooting outside  just be sure to keep your shutter speed around 1/100 or faster so that you can stops motion. The goal, again, is to keep things sharp. If you get there early enough, you can set your white balance with an ExpoDisc or a coffee cup lid.

Other Parents

You will be battling other parents for position. Some parents only have their phones to use, or point and shoots. You can either battle with them or your your skills to your advantage. Let them get their shots , they may get out of your way and let you get yours. If you know other parents, take pictures of their kids, and email it to them. In the future, they will help you get a good position so that you can continue helping them out .

Point of View

You are creating images of children, not adults: get low. Be willing to sit on the floor. It’s a great angle for children, you can get their faces, nice and smiling. If you’re at a sports event, if you can, fill your frame with your child, if not, make sure your focus point is on their face. Don’t make them look small. Kids like to feel big, your images can help with that.

Do Not Get Angry

Anger is the enemy. It will not achieve anything. If a parent gets in the way, be the bigger person and find a calmer path. Your kids are watching you. You have to be an example  in how to handle tough situations.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.