Photography Technique: A Kid’s Eye View

A while ago I learned a great photography tip…

When taking pictures of kids, don’t be lazy and take the shot from your standing height. Instead, get down to their eye level to take the shot.

Depending on what the kid is doing at that very moment, this might mean getting down on your knees, sitting on your butt, or even lying on your belly to take the picture from their eye level.

It can be a dirty job, but trust me, the quality of photos you take will be worth the extra loads of laundry and occasional scraped knee.

To test the theory, I recently did a little experiment.

My son and I were in a park and he was sitting on a bench waiting for his turn on the swing. He REALLY wanted to use that swing, so he wasn’t enjoying the seemingly eternal 3-minute wait. We’ve all been there, of course.

I took these two shots in quick succession. The first one from a standing position and the second from my knees.

photography technique - taking pictures of kids

Taken from standing position

Taken from my knees

Taken from my knees

I’ve pondered for a long time the reasons this technique makes for more compelling pictures. I think it comes down to this:

  • You get a better look at their facial expression.
  • You feel more “in the moment” rather than looking “at” the moment.
  • The background is typically more attractive than looking at the ground or the floor.
  • The background is typically further away, so you benefit from larger depth of field in the image.
  • You get a better perspective on how big or small the child is.

What do you think? Do you agree that the shot taken from my knees is a more compelling photo? What other tips do you have for taking pictures of kids?

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Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler’s perspective)

Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler's perspective)

Mom, really?? You’re gonna hand me down your Blackberry rather than getting me an iPhone 5?

Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler's perspective)

Well… I can type a lot faster on this, so I guess that’s ok.

Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler's perspective)

But there’s no Angry Birds game!

Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler's perspective)

Okay, okay… if you’re going take it away, I’ll stop complaining.

Blackberry vs. iPhone 5 (from a Toddler's perspective)

Now… how do I send Tweets from this thing?

The Wonders of Discovery

Photography, depth of field

One thing that I find absolutely amazing about being a Dad is watching my 21-month-old son “discover” new things.

The Wonders of Childhood Discovery

Not so sure about water yet…

Whether it be eating peanut butter for the first time, playing with water in its many forms, or “clinking” drinking glasses as if to say, “Cheers!”, there’s new discovery in his life every single day.

Eating Peanut Butter for the First Time

Eating peanut butter for the first time

Cheers!

Cheers!

Click on the link below for a little montage of a toddler “discovering” new things. (many of the images require no caption to understand what’s going through his head…)

View my Flickr photo album => “DISCOVERY”

The Boy of a Thousand Faces

Kids photography, photography

As of today, our son Bennett is 14 months old. So far, I’ve taken roughly 7000 pictures of him. That’s a little over 16 pictures per day, on average! Yes, call me crazy, I deserve it… But it’s so much FUN capturing all these amazing moments of discovery! Also, when he was born, my lovely and generous wife bought me a really nice DSLR camera that takes amazing pictures (Canon Rebel T2i), so that really adds to the fun.

One thing about photographing a baby/toddler is that they’re SO expressive. I call Bennett “The Boy of a Thousand Faces”. With every new discovery, every emotion, every thought, and every attempt at communicating with us, there’s a new expression on his face. Actually, I think the number 1000 isn’t nearly adequate to describe the number of his expressions I’ve seen on his face.

The other day I had just finished feeding him breakfast and he was a very happy boy. Much like his Daddy, he gets cranky when he gets hungry. So, in his happy state, he started chatting away. More like babbling, I suppose, because he hasn’t said his first word yet. Well, I actually think he’s said Da-Da many times already, but that might be a stretch.

Check out this amazing sequence of roughly 20 photos I snapped of him while he was “talking” away. The sequence was over a timeframe of only about 1 or 2 minutes.

Any guesses as to what he’s trying to say? (comment below)