“Are you a princess? I said and she said I’m much more than a princess, but you don’t have a name for it yet here on earth. ” — Brian Andreas
This is my niece. She is absolutely gorgeous and definitely more than a princess. She lives to be photographed. I actually have to coax her not to pose for me. In her head, she’s a New York City socialite or a Monterrey diva.
My nephew Tyler – also gorgeous – cannot have his picture taken without rolling his eyes or scratching his forearm or jumping up and down so the chances of my getting a blog-worthy photograph of him right now are exponentially lower. Trust me, though, he is a gorgeous boy with nutmeg hair and a generous sprinkling of freckles across his nose and cheeks.
The Art of Photographing Nieces and Nephews
1. Always show up with hugs and kisses… and your camera
2. Pay attention to what kind of mood your subjects are in. Bad day? Put the camera away.
3. Ask permission to take their photograph. They will appreciate being asked.
4. Take a lot of photographs. (I’m talking, here, about many… heaps… tons. Line up your shots and take them quickly!)
5. When the kids are done, you’re done. This will help ensure that the next time you want to take their photograph, they’ll have a positive memory of the experience and will be keen to play again!
6. Ask them to choose their favourite shots of themselves and their siblings. Get them to tell you why they like a certain photograph. (I promise, you’ll learn cool things from them!)
7. Bonus: If you have a point and shoot digital camera in your house, lend it to the kids. They take the most amazing photographs because they don’t have any knowledge or preconceived notions about “the rules” for photography. Create a gallery of their best shots. If your child/niece/nephew shows real interest, you can begin with a few simple lessons but don’t let technique get in the way of genuine enthusiasm and a unique vision of the world.
This photograph of Sophie – which I love (especially the appearance of a halo above her head) – is one of 28 I took within about five minutes. I’m convinced that great photographs are part skill/training, part luck and part tenacity.
What are your tips for taking interesting and memorable photographs of children?