Useful Photography Tip #71: Learn to Do Children’s Photography from a Child’s Perspective

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If you are a photographer whose work revolves around children, a thought that often come up is, “What’s the best angle to capture them?” I found the best way to find this angle is to actually use a child. As I have been training my child in the art of photography, I get to see though his eyes. With a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon 35mm f1.8G in his hand, this is what I have learned.

Size Matters

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It’s obvious that parents and kids are different sizes. This really does show when taking pictures from a kid’s point of view. Acknowledging this difference can really affect how you compose an image of a child. Seeing my son’s images, the kids look more natural. At a low angle, a child looks like they are a normal size and not small.

Kids Do Not Like Looking Small

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Kids respond better when you are physically on their level. For adults this will require kneepads but the result is totally worth it. Seeing my child’s portrait of a friend from school really shows this. In a Zen-like way, or without trying, he is engaging his subject. From his point of view, kids look normal and kids appreciate this as well. As adults, we need to realize this. At my son’s angle, he’s looking directly into a kid’s eye, not above. He got slightly below, even creating an interesting look for a child.

Do Not Overthink Your Shot

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When my son shoots, he is quick. He has mastered filling the frame quickly. It is something that I took forever to learn. Beyond that, he is just taking a picture. He is not trying to make art or be fancy. In this way, his photography is pure, and sometimes that is all that is really needed. Anything goes. He is not trying to keeps his subject’s attention, getting the shot and moving on to the next, and more candid in nature than posed.

Gear Suggested for a Kid’s POV

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If you want to shoot from a kid’s pov, kneepads are suggested. It is better to save your knees short term rather than have them hurt long term.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM Product photos (8 of 8)ISO 3200

You do not want to get too far away from kids. Prime lenses like a 85mm f1.8  or a 50mm f1.8 would serve you well. If you want a little more flexibility, a 24-70mm lens would do the trick.

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If you have an issue engaging children, a smart phone  mount for you camera will give kids something to look at while you get the shots.

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If you have to use a flash, use a high-speed sync like the Yongnuo 568EX II , I did not use high-speed sync with my  Yongnuo YN-565EX ETTL Speedlite but ti did work well.

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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.