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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.
(music playing) Very often, families, in the end, fall more in love with the picture you do in the studio than the one that's in many ways more significant to me, the available light one. Kids have maybe never seen anything like we have in our studio here. We put a sweep a paper down, just to get a clear simple background.
I got Joel and Ona to sit on the floor, because I wanted them to be able to have James stand beside them and their head levels would be more or less the same. When you have a family, a large number of people especially, it's quite different. I, for example, photographed an Italian family with something like seventeen people in one picture. What you do is you think of the oldest person, the most senior people. They probably go in the center, because they should get the most respect. If it's just mom and dad and a couple of kids, you sit them down comfortably or stand them together and build around that.
It's funny, you often have to tell people "move closer, closer. Please touch your heads together." You're probably going to want them looking right into your camera, and the parents may do it; kids may not. (video playing) People should leave feeling good, kids or adults.
Remember one thing, that you the photographer are not the only element in this. No matter what kind of a beautiful new camera lens you have, unquestionably, it's the people out in front and how you relate to them. That's ultimately what the process is.
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