Lesson 2: Take better photos of your kids.

Lesson TWO.
Perspective and Documentary Style

  • Tips before we begin
  • Flash OFF
  • Do not use a smoothing filter
  • DSLR users – not ready for manual? Try the no flash option in your actions.

Concept – Perspetive
Style – Documentary

Perspective. Let’s begin!

There are two different kinds of perspective. We’ll cover both of course!
. The perspective of the photographer as it applies to angles, distance, and point-of-view.
2. The bending of perspective as it applies to manipulating size and shape.

Perspective 1.
MOVE AROUND! Dive into perspective as YOU, the photographer’s point-of-view. – Find the dynamic in the mundane.
1. Imagine if you were to photograph your kiddo anywhere other than straight on? I’m talking about something almost everybody does; they stand right in-front of their kiddo, point their camera and snap. Sure, that works for most situations but we can do better and be more creative!
2. Think about where you, the photographer, can place your body to show a different feel in your images. Imagine watching your child playing on their own… building a puzzle or playing cards. Can you stand above them and shoot down? Can you move around to the back of them to take a picture of what they see?
3. Can you completely eliminate yourself out of the perspective? Can you become a ‘fly on the wall’ and observe from a distance and not manipulate the subject at all?

Ok, now let me show you!

Here is a series of the boys playing their video games. I took all of these photos within 3 minutes of each other. Note that the boys barely moved. It was ME that moved all around them, behind them, down in front of them. You’ve got to move around!!! Notice that some of these photos are the usual front snap, but a few are really unique angles. When you move around your subject you can create way more dimension and get creative with perspective.

Perspective 2.
Size manipulation. – Add drama and interest.
1. Placing objects closer to your lens makes them appear larger, and further from the lens makes them appear smaller.
2. Turning an object can make parts appear smaller or larger.

Ok, now let me show you!

Today’s Style… Documentary Photography

Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history as well as everyday life. It is typically covered in professionalphotojournalism, or real life reporting, but it may also be an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit.

Simply put, a documentary style photo is one of life as it’s happening. Maybe you observe your child playing a video game or working on homework or watching your kids make a snack or reading a book. Simply observe them, look for your light, and snap without prompting a smile or a look.

Remember, from the first lesson we’re thinking about the light and how your light lays on your kid. Don’t forget the first lesson in spite of your next lesson.
Ask yourself before you snap;
1. How is the light laying on your child and how can I move around to make the light work for me?
2. Are they near a window with big soft light, or in front of the glow of an electronic?
3. How can you move your body to change or manipulate the perspective?
4. How can you position your lens to manipulate size or importance?

Now that you see the perspective, document it!

Now for your second assignment!!! Take a series of Documentary photos

1. Turn off all the lights.
2. Ask your model (or models) to ignore you. This is the easy part, HA! Just watch them doing something they normally do, like cook or brush their teeth.
3. Clear the clutter. Your focus is still your kid, candy wrappers or a box of bills in the background will make it hard to focus on your subjects.
4. Make any adjustments with your body by moving yourself closer or further from the window and your subject to find that ideal light.
5. Take their photos. Heck, take a bunch. Talk to them as you photograph them. Circle them and get different angles and perspectives. Hide outside the room and just poke your camera in or get way down on the ground and shoot from a mouse’s perspective.

*Remember a documentary photo is just an observation. Have fun!

Post your Documentary style photos… one or more if you love them!

Pick out your favorite photos and post it in the group. I can’t wait to see how your second lesson went! I’m excited to see how creative you got while you moved your body!

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Based Newborn & Family Photographer