How times have changed. I am fortunate to be of a generation that that could photograph children without being demonised as an evil pervert. Point a camera at a child these days and you will immediately be branded a dangerous monster. This paranoia, fostered and encouraged by official agencies, has even got through to the children themselves and we are all poorer for the loss of beautiful images of childhood.
But let’s not be too negative, there are still many enlightened parents who are overjoyed to have natural, unposed photographs of their children, and you may have children or grandchildren of your own… perfect subjects.
Sensible parents can be a tremendous help by keeping an eye on things (wiping runny noses etc.) but only assisting when asked. It can be very frustrating when mum moves in to straighten clothing just at the moment when the child’s expression is perfect and you press the shutter button. So talk things through in a really informal, friendly way before the photo session starts. Stress that you will all be working together to produce lovely pictures of the children. You need their help.
TEN THINGS TO DO BEFORE PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN INDOORS
Talk through your plan with parents
Find a position in good natural light
Try to ‘confine’ your subjects in some way
Check the background for unsightly elements
Take your light reading and set the exposure
Try to set a shutter speed of at least 1/125sec
Set white balance
Have toys or props ready
Drawing books make good reflectors
Next, in part 2 – TEN TIPS while taking photographs of children