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When you photograph kids and families, "you're recording a piece of history," says renowned photographer Douglas Kirkland in Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Photographing Kids and Families. In this course, Douglas discusses the art of photographing kids ranging from toddlers to preteens, both alone and together with parents and siblings. As he photographs close friends and family members, Douglas discusses the use of ambient light as well as LED fill light, and demonstrates shooting techniques in both informal and studio settings.
Generally, when I'm working with kids and families, I find it best to start with the available light. We went upstairs and we got a big bathtub up there, and there is a lot of light there. We have a lot of little toys around the edges. My wife Francoise has them there for kids when they come. She was so right, because it became a playpen. (video playing) It's quite important to have things that kids can relate to.
I mean, we have crayons around here and paper. I have one boy whom I photographed a number of years, Sean, he had one year that outer space was his passion, and the next year it was dinosaurs. If you can relate to them on their terms, a child for example with a toy or something like that, or something that they can participate with, they have their communication running with you. (video playing) Here is Jack. He comes in, and he was a little frightened at first too, but Christian put him into the tub with James, and he started to light up and smile.
(video playing) And this one point he got a little frightened, but that was taken away pretty quickly, because his dad came and held him for a minute. And then James came over and started talking to him. I was just working quickly. I shot a lot of pictures very fast.
Normally I don't shoot rapidly, but I did with these kids, because I kept seeing good pictures. I had a zoom lens at 24-105. There was quite a bit of light there. So I was on what's a fairly high ISO for that. I was at 1250, and my shutter speeds were running at 250th of a second, at 56. What I liked about that place is the light outside would be blown out a little bit--that was intentional--and be overexposed probably two or three stops, at least. I wanted it to be a little more fairly like, more like a nursery.
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