How to setup camera for Photographing Your Children?

Everybody wants to get great pictures of their kids but small children in particular can be pretty tricky because they’re so unpredictable. So before you go anywhere near pressing the shutter button you need to put a bit of thought and effort into thinking how you’re gonna go about it. Teenagers can be tricky to photograph because they’re a bit moody so you need to make sure they’re in right mental space to have their picture taken. If they are you’ll probably get some brilliant pictures because they’ll be right up for it, they’ll be doing crazy stuff and posing all over the place. With little children you have an advantage because you know the sorts of things that they’re into the only thing to really watch is the time of day there’s no point going out trying to photograph the small child if they gonna be hungry or tired the sort of time when they’re gonna be going to have a nap.

The little girl that I’m going to photograph I know very well indeed, and for a long time she’s been going on about wanting to go to the beach with mommy and Mike. So I think we got a pretty good chance down here, now this is a real life sort of photo shoot so I don’t really know what we’re gonna get, but hopefully we’ll still come away with some good stuff and you’ll be able to do that too if you engage the child and have a bit of fun with them. Hello Layla, Layla baby. Well that’s a good start isn’t it. This is Natasha she’s my step daughter and you may have met her on our DVD. This is her little girl Layla who is running around all over the place. You having a nice time Layla? I’m being ignored. Anyway nevermind Tasha, I just want to go and tell everyone how to set up their camera first and I’ll come back and find you in a tick, is that alright? Yeah that’s fine. Alright see you in a mo.

The reason I’ve come over here to be alone with you guys is because little Layla is completely besotted with me and she’s completely sweet adorable there’s no way I could talk to back camera settings and all that stuff with a two-year-old rooting around in the camera bag. First of all, which lends you going to use? I want to start off with using a long lens because I like the narrow field of view it gives a shallow depth of field so that will kinda make Layla the real subject to the picture a narrow field of view will be able to isolate her amongst what’s going on down here.

There isn’t very much going on down here so it’s a really good time to do it. longer focal lengths also look really good. So I’m using a longish lens, the next thing I need to do is to choose which mode I’m going to shoot in, because of the unpredictable nature of children I want to be able to move very quickly I don’t be changing my exposure and I’ll have to do that a lot today because the sky is very kind of muddle the suns going to be going in and out quite a bit. so I’m gonna use aperture-priority also called AV mode aperture value. So that’s the first thing we’re gonna set on here, where is it? there it is. AV mode, this means that I can control the aperture to get the look that I want as In the depth of field. I want a shallow depth of field so that Layla is really the focus of the shot.

So I’m gonna set aperture of F 5.6 that’s really quite a wide aperture which is going to give me a shallow depth of field aperture priority mode means that the camera will deal with the shutter speed for me and I want to make sure I’ve got the fastest shutter speed that I can use, because long lenses suffer from camera shake. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about. with some of these things click the links below the film to find out.

I need to make sure I got a faster shutter speed I can use so that’s another advantage to the wide aperture so I’m gonna have a quick look and see what kind of an exposure I’m gonna get the way to do this is to look through the camera’s viewfinder at an area of kind of neutral tones you don’t want anything too bright or too dark something very average and I’m just kind of looking around, as I look along here at sort of the sky and these little groynes sticking out that would probably make quite a good, actually I’m gonna lose the sky and just go for the groynes looking at that it says I got a 500th of a second at F5.6 I need a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any it wobbles or motions that I might make which would cause the camera-shake. if the Sun comes out there’ll be more light and the shutter speed will increase but that’s fine because I know that even with the sun in as it is at the moment I’ve got a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action I don’t have to worry if the shutter speed gets faster. out of interest my iso is actually set on 200 because it’s so low I’m actually gonna wind it up a little bit to 320, then I know that I’ve got a fast enough shutter speed.

Next is the autofocus mode that I’m gonna use I want to make sure the camera focuses where I want it to focus because I wanted to focus on Layla’s eyes, I don’t want the autofocus getting a bit confused autofocus is very accurate but you do need to tell it what to do so I’m gonna choose single point autofocus that means it’s going to focus on one dot in the viewfinder and i can tell it which dot I’m gonna set it for the very middle of my viewfinder so all I have to do is to look through the camera put the middle dot right on Layla’s eye, I take up first pressure on the shutter button I might not want Layla in the middle of my composition but then I can then kind of take up first , let the camera focus I can recompose and then press it the rest of the way it’s really quick I do want it to be accurate.

White balance its predominately cloudy so I’m gonna set my white balance too cloudy that’s going to give me the most accurate colors I personally don’t like using auto mode very much on anything but on a day like today when things are changing it could change the white balance all over the place plus if I point it and there’s something blue in the background like those beach huts over there the camera might see all the blue and the auto white balance will change the colour, if I put it onto cloudy white balance, white balance will stay the same.

Finally the file type I want to use raw files because they give me the best possible chance for correcting any little changes in brightness or contrast or white balance later on in the computer I’m not really into fiddling with shots much but a raw file will give make maximum ability to make sure everything is consistent I don’t want them being a bit blue in one colour or a bit bright or a bit dark or a bit over contrasty or under contrasty that’s about it actually for camera setup first part of the job is done no it isn’t I’ve just though, compositions.

You’re photographing someone you want them to be the subject to the picture I don’t want to be lost in a cluttered background this is a great place today to do this because there isn’t much going on there’s not much down here at the moment prior to the summer holidays on a weekend it’s probably going to be pretty busy I don’t want to get things sticking up all over the place we want Layla to be, she’s waving at me. Layla to be the absolute subject of the picture there we go I would say that the cameras all set up we’re almost ready to go.

I’ve thought of something else I need to tell you and that’s light, a day like today is perfect for this sort of thing because there are no strong shafts of light the Sun is behind this predominantly overcast sky so the light is being shattered by the cloud it’s a nice soft even light there are no nasty shadows or super bright highlights on my face and that’s the last thing you want if you’re shooting a portrait now if you’ve gone out for a day on the beach or something anyone to take some pictures these are all the steps you have to go through if you don’t have the overcast sky look for areas of open shade if there’s a great big open space of shade try and get the kids playing around in that area and line yourself up accordingly to get the kind of shot you’re looking for if there isn’t any shade always backlight shoot into the Sun but be very careful if you do that watch at your exposure because the camera might get very confused and under expose the shots. you can use your exposure compensation button to deal with that by telling it to always overexpose just a little bit have which way you do it what’s the exposure if you do that now it’s probably time to see if we can take some pictures