Friday, November 18, 2011

muse university - seven secrets to photographing your children

One of the main reasons I started up on this photography lark was to try and capture those fleeting moments of my children's childhoods. Here are are some of the techniques I use to try and help snap those moments.

1. Take your camera everywhere with you. And by that, I mean everywhere. To the shops, on the train, on the school run; everywhere!

pond dipping

Here's Miles on a visit to his grandmother's house. When I couldn't find him, I grabbed my camera and looked around the house knowing that he would have found something interesting to do, eventually finding him by the pond, dipping for newts. The light was so perfect as he trawled through the muddy water.

2. Include your little people in your photographic projects. Ella and Miles know all about fences and benches, and sometimes even like to join in, although Miles can be a little indecisive at times! It's a fun thing to do together as a family. You could always give them a camera of their own if you really want to encourage them. Ella loves to take pictures on her iPod touch using Instagram.

rainy hbm with umbrella monster!

While caught in the rain, I bought Miles this monster umbrella, so we had to do a bench shot with it! It took us a while to make the monster look as menacing as possible.

3. Try using black and white for a "time machine" effect.  It's amazing how it can make people look much younger or older. With children, sometimes you get a glimpse of their younger selves, or a sense of what they will look like when they grow up.

the girl in Pienza

I took this picture of Ella while in Pienza, Italy. She looks much older than her years in this picture, and I could suddenly imagine her as a teenager.

4. Photograph the little details. The things they make, their hands, the things they treasure. They will always have stories to tell about them when they are older.

cat's cradle

Here is a picture of Ella and her best friend, making cat's cradles. It's something they have enjoyed doing together for the last few years, but I know it will be something they will grow out of. I hope they will cherish the memory of this moment when they are older.

5. Keep your distance. Shoot from far away, or creep up on them. It doesn't matter if their faces aren't in the picture; often their gestures or their silhouettes are all that's necessary to capture the mood.

swimming

I caught this while on holiday in Italy. Ella was catching her breath after diving into the pool all afternoon. I love to imagine what she was thinking as she looked at the view.

6. Don't be afraid to direct them. I often ask my children to stand in magical light, or to pose for me. Lindsey sometimes asks children to look at the dinosaur in the camera; I like to ask Ella and Miles to pretend they know a secret for that wistful look.

wish flower

While Ella was blowing this dandelion, I asked her to make the most epic but secret wish she could (she loves the word epic, so I knew I was onto a winner there). I love the mood her look added to the picture.

7. If all else fails, try a jump shot!

jumping

With this picture I was supposed to be practising colour palettes and the rule of thirds. But when we got to the location, Miles looked at me and said he wasn't going to pose for me because he was too cold. So I asked him to jump!

Most of all, enjoy yourself! Do you use any of these tricks? What are your secrets? Let us know in the comments.

kirstin of fleeting moments.

30 comments:

sarah jean, said...

this is fun kristin. simple tips with an incredible effect. i think i need to try more jump shots :) thanks for the inspiration.

Little Mrs. Middleton said...

great info. thanks.

Gilly said...

Gorgeous pictures, Kirstin - really lovely.

Eileen said...

Really lovely photos! I use the "jump" trick often w/ my 2 and 1/2 year old. She loves to jump!

pictress said...

Awesome blog post! Epic! :)

urban muser said...

great tips and stunning photos. thanks kirstin!

Suki said...

wonderful post and as always great pictures.

SuperDewa said...

Great post, and I am so excited about the "make a wish trick." That one is new to me. I'm going to try it today (assuming there's still light when they get home)!

Anna said...

Kirstin, a wonderful post with great tips! Your photos always capture a unique, very personal vision of the world, regardless of the subject matter.

esra said...

Such a great post Kirstin.. And amazing images...

Ashley Sisk said...

This entire post is epic - I loved every single word. I guess it helps to know the characters. Pinning now.

Kat Sloma said...

Fantastic tips Kirstin! You are the master at capturing amazing images of your children. Thanks for sharing your secrets with us.

Becky Sue said...

Wonderful post! I adore your photos of your children, what treasures you've created (in more ways than one!). I, too, love the "make a wish" idea and I'm going to put it into practice.

I read this post first thing this a.m. and I was able to get this shot in the 2 min. we had before the bus arrived.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rslaflam/6357998035/

Thank you!

Holly {Soupatraveler} said...

brilliant post kirstin and stunning images! love it!

mosey (kim) said...

Epic indeed. And when shooting some kid portraits recently I used the what's in my lens trick - worked like a charm!

Sam said...

Excellent!

Kimberly June said...

Such beautiful images. Every single one.

Stjernesol said...

I love this post!

You rock photographing children :)

Christina said...

this is perfect!
xo

maureen said...

I so love your E&M photos, always have.
Great tips, thanks for sharing them.

Standard Deluxe said...

A wonderful collection of childhood captures Kirstin. Ella and Miles are beautiful. And you captures of them exudes charm, honesty, and timelessness. Thank you for sharing your excellent insight and helpful tips.

damiec said...

Wonderful words and stunning picture, kirstin. I am sure that your photos of your gorgeous children are what drew me to you in the beginning. And I do many of these w/ my munchkins too.

One ore trick I use is subterfuge. They know I can easily get lost in spiderweb or some colored lights, or anything really. So they lose track of me and my camera & go deep in their own play & then when I turn my lens onto them, they often take no notice of me, which I prefer - in pictures at least.

Becs said...

Great tips and absolutely gorgeous shots. Love the brollie shot and Ella in the pool especially. Jumping made me smile too. I have to use stealth for most of mine - my daughter has wised up and pulls faces most of the time, surprise is my only option!

Christine said...

Fantastic tips! Thanks so much!! With out even realizing it I use a lot of these! LOL I also often just sneak up on my three year old and try to capture those quiet moments where she is in deep thought. Like you did when Miles was using the net. I absolutely love all your captures! You captured so many wonderful memories. I also love your processing!! I sometimes also try acting funny and say ok I will get in the shot with you. Let's be silly together. That usually gets her! Thanks again!

Kirstin said...

Thank you all for your sweet comments. I must have a go at your tips too...x

Shawna Lemay said...

those are some amazing photos - inspiring post - thank you!

Bryson Hull said...

Great post. A Pulitzer Prize winning colleague advised that u should just follow them at their height and fire away. Lots of good has come from that technique.

Naima Sanowar said...

Thanks Kirstin for even more valuable information. Fantastic post. x

jhopes70 said...

i like your post really nice post


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angiel said...

Wonderful ideas ... and they are all working beautifully for you. I will have to try that 'make a wish' idea. Thank you xx

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