Mothers worldwide have been wrestling their
children into adorable red and pink outfits in hopes of getting
some decent photos of their little heart-breakers for Valentine's
Day. And I'm one of them! As the mother of a typical stubborn
toddler, I realize just how difficult that task can be!
But no worries, I'm here to offer a few of tips . .
Let's start by getting a little technical. As we
know, light is the essence of photography; it has the ability to
create, shape, bounce and even absorb.
It was quite the gloomy day when I planned to
photograph my daughter so I chose to use a white backdrop. I used
a diffuser (the round thing clamped to a
stand) to bounce any bit of natural light
back into the frame. I shoot with natural light whenever possible;
it helps produce soft, creamy images and evens out
Now I know that not everyone owns a backdrop, but
everyone has access to window light and an art store! You can
easily switch out a diffuser for a large piece of white foam core
board which is sold at most major retailers. Foam core is
affordable, replaceable and sturdy enough to easily be propped up
against any household object for use.
If you don't have time to grab the foam core, you
could even use a GIANT sheet of white paper, you could face
your kid(s) towards a white painted wall or you could lay them on
your bed covered in white linens . . . get the idea? If you are
skeptical about just how much light a piece of paper can bounce
off, try it out next time the sun is shining! Hold a piece of paper
in front of someone's face and watch their eyes lights up and
shadows fill in!
Distractions are your best friend when
photographing toddlers because we all know how busy those little
hands can be! The simple challenge is finding props to fit your
vision and yet the difficult challenge is getting them to interact
with said props while staying
I try to make the situation as FUN as possible.
Making crazy noises, dancing, tickling . . . sometimes I lose the
attention by the time my face is back behind the camera so this is
where an extra adult can be very helpful.
Except for the balloons, which I picked up at a
local party retailer, I had everything else on hand: A paper punch
to quickly cut out hearts (about 30), a bag of red crinkle shipping
paper and red and pink glitter!!!
Tip: Save the glitter for last. We all know its
messy but it can
truly turn tears into smiles if you haven't quite
the "shot" yet!
I hope you have found these little tidbits helpful
and get a
chance to try them out!
Justina is a twenty-something, professionally trained toddler wrangler and photographer. Feel free to follow along as she shares photo-blogs of their adventures in Chicagoland and tips to take better pictures of your own children. *All images are copyright of Justina Olenick*
See more of Justina's stories here.
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