Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Taking Better Pics of Your Kids - Look for the "Right" Light

Since last week's lesson was more technical, I thought this week I would keep it simple.

I remember my wedding photographer's rule of thumb: when photographing a wedding, always use flash - when photographing children, NEVER use flash. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I admit that my favorite pictures of my girls were taken without flash.

A while back I bought How to Photograph Your Baby by Nick Kelsh. He writes that the "right" light to photograph your children can be found almost anywhere in your home. In a nutshell, you are looking for indirect light - light that pours in a window or an open door. Not the direct sunlight you find in your backyard or at the park in the middle of the day. If you can position your baby (or older one) so that one side of your baby's face is in the lght and the other is in the shadows, voila! You have a (possible) masterpiece.

Some examples of where to find this indirect light:

front porch

I know some of these sound strange, but I have taken pictures of my kids in the car in the garage, and it was great light. Here's a couple of examples of getting the "right" light from my own personal photos:

I took this picture of my (now) 3 year old when she first woke up in the morning. I love the morning sun on the side of her face.

This is in an upstairs bedroom in the late afternoon. You can see the light pouring in from the window behind my baby girl. No shadows like the picture above, but I love the softness and the colors.