Kids make great models for taking pictures, as long as you know how to make it fun. Use costumes and props, try light painting, or just catch them in the act of play.
Being a stay-at-home Dad means I don’t have lots of time to go out and shoot as much as I’d like. But I’ve discovered that my son Oliver, and even my two nieces, provide me with ample opportunity to practice my favourite hobby while at the same time having lots of fun and experimenting.
Because kids these days are so used to having a million pictures taken of them with digital cameras, they are already pros when it comes to posing and smiling. But when they see me with my plastic film cameras, like my colourful La Sardina, they are immediately curious. I call it my “special” camera, and immediately they want to take part in the magic.
Summer is always the best time, as there are trips to the beach or the amusement park. One time I followed my niece with my La Sardina as she amused herself along the seashore, picking up rocks. She knew I had my “special” camera with me and was happy to pose.
My son Oliver had a summer hat that I thought had a classic look to it, and I got some great pictures of him wearing it. Fun hats, sunglasses, or even things like balloons, can add a bit of fun and colour to shots.
Speaking of dressing up, kids love costumes! If you have some old costumes from parties or Halloween, bring them out and use them. Kids will always jump at the chance to put on a cape or mask, and become a character. Sometimes I’ll even grab on old bed sheet, drape it over the shower rack, put the camera on a tripod, and turn the bathroom into a mini photo studio. And while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and let the kids take a snapshot or two of you as well. Kids love taking pictures too. Especially if you attach the cable release and let them hit that plunger!
Of course, light painting is loads of fun with children. Grab a flashlight, turn off the lights, get them to scribble and go crazy, then taken a second exposure with the lights on. My son Oliver and I both took turns light painting one time, and then used a toy helmet we had lying around and took one of the strangest and most interesting photos in my lomographic library!
Children, with their sense of fun, and their lack of inhibition, make some of the best models for taking fun and theatrical pictures. So load a roll of film in your camera and start playing!
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