It’s in the Eyes

I find taking pictures of people, especially kids, to be pretty challenging sometimes. Luckily, my favorite 2-year-old lets me practice on her, and she’s quite the pro. Even at a year old, when she would see a camera, she would strike a pose. (I thank her camera-loving mom for this.)

Now, when I want to practice people pictures, I can usually catch her looking right into the camera, which makes for some great shots.

Photographing Kids is Hard

Last month my cousin, who also recently got a Canon Rebel, asked me if I wanted to sign up for a photography class with her. The class was taught by Amy Tripple, (who does some gorgeous child and family photography), and was designed for parents who want to take better pictures of their kids. I figured although I don’t have kids of my own, it might be fun to learn some new techniques that I can apply to my own photography, and maybe even take some good photos of my friends’ kids.

During the class, I learned a lot about the buttons and features on my camera, and also some good tips for focusing on moving children. That said, some of the tips I found to be the opposite of what I need to do for the kind of photography I find myself working with most often. In order to practice my new skills, I was going to need to borrow some children.

Lucky for me, my boyfriend has the most adorable nieces and nephew ever. And they have a mom who likes to take a lot of photos, so they have a lot of practice at being models. That said, they are still living, breathing, real-life kids, and they’re always on the go. So getting some great shots of them can be challenging.

I started by trying to use the manual setting and getting everything just right to take the perfect photo. But, when they’re running from room to room (and the lighting is constantly changing), it starts to get a little difficult.

For example, I took this adorable photo when Annaliese ran into the bedroom, and before I could get the settings adjusted for the lamp that was sitting on the floor shining on her cute little face.

And even when I gave up and switched to the Portrait setting, it’s hard to get that perfect shot. Like, when Reese had her hands full of frosting, but by the time the flash went off, she was already mid-lick:

Eventually I gave up and just started taking a bunch of photos, hoping I’d get some good ones. And, I did end up getting several that turned out really great.

However, my absolute favorite one of the day was of Jake. In addition to being adorable, he can also be very active, or very grumpy, depending on his mood. So to get a picture of him not in a blur, and also with a smile on his face is quite an accomplishment.

That’s why this photo is my favorite: