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Photography Question 
Brooke B

How to Photograph My Toddler

Could you please provide me with some tips on how best to capture my 2-year-old? Many thanks in advance!
Mom-with-new-Canon EOS 20D

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1/24/2005 8:04:20 PM

Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
Get your little one involved in something. Building block, builder bob, whatever. Set it up so you are near a window or sliding glass door. Get down on their level to shoot. Be patient, be patient, and be patient.
Get dad involved, but set him on the opposite side from your special one. Set a large white foam core board up so it will throw light into the shadow side of your child. Sometimes the best toys are the ones you donít think they will like. Try a balloon, or a peacock feather. If you have a window that is low, let the little one look out. If you have snow, go play in it - but just remember to shoot at their level. Your tummy might be cold but the pictures will be worth it.
If you do the tub scene, use a bounce flash. Oh, did I say you need to be patient? Have fun, have a dress-up day. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot ... oh, did I mention you need to be patient and keep shooting?
Good luck, and good shooting.

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1/24/2005 9:05:46 PM

Michel Jean J. Paller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/8/2005
  Hi Brook,
You're singing my song! I used to photograph toddlers and babies for Sears and JC Penney. One of the most basic rules of thumb I learned was to photograph the child during the time of day when he/she was most content - just after a nap or a meal. Sometimes early in the morning or close to their bed time is fun. I would not recommend using a balloon for a two-year-old. When Dad gets involved in the process, place him directly behind you or in the direction you want your toddler to look and give him a bell, a whistle, a piece of noisy cellophane, and a big hug when it's all over. Let him use his noise makers alternately so as to hold Tod's interest. It will keep him paying close attention. If you don't want to use attraction or distraction, try just keeping your camera close at hand and take candids as the opportunities arise.
I totally agree with setting up the shots with white reflectors and window light - you can even add lamp light to that as well, but those methods don't always fit in with an active child and a camera and the dog, etc. Try keeping the rooms of the house brightly lit, put white sheer plain curtains on the windows, and let Junior present the candid moments. He'll find something sweet, funny, cute, or touching to do that will delight and intrigue you.

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1/26/2005 11:59:28 PM

Roger L. Main
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/23/2003
  I have two young ones and I find two main problems: 1 - my daughter loves being photographed so she "poses" which, unfortunately, ends up looking silly. So I try to photograph her without her knowledge. Usually I get Mom to distract her. 2 - my son moves a lot. Use fairly fast film, a motor drive and shoot lots of pictures. One of them is bound to come out looking fantastic.

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2/1/2005 8:03:50 AM

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