5 Tips For Photographing Uncooperative Children

Here is a perfect example of a final image I was able to get of my own daughter as a planned shoot in the bluebell woods.

My beautiful daughter was not happy to be photographed that day, we talked about the session before hand, she knew we were going to the wood and that after the mini shoot we could play, have a picnic etc.  Once we got there her mood had changed and although she got dressed up, had her hair done (by me) before hand, she was just not in the mood.  I bribed, begged and begged for her to smile but she refused and I realised then it really didn't matter if she smiled, I wanted an image of her and who she is and this image (that I absolutely love) is just a perfect representation of what she is like.

Girl in bluebells

I should have realised sooner that most of the images I love of my family is when they are talking, playing and even sometimes, laughing with each other.

Here are my 5 tips to photographing our not so smiley children

  • Taka a walk

Don't go straight into a "photoshoot".  Decide in advance where you want to take pictures and plan for it to be in the middle of your walk.

  • Play and interact

Make sure you have access to your camera but don't constantly take every picture of them playing, play with them, go looking for different colour leaves ( if you are heading to the park) or look for different shells/stones ( if you go to the beach)

  • Bribe

I know we don't like to bribe our children if we can help it but sometimes a little encouragement and a treat at the end can work wonders when it comes to getting great images of your child.  As I have 3 of them it works great to get them to interact with each other.

  • Distraction

If the worse case happens and they start to have a major tantrum or meltdown, try to introduce something else, talk about the things around you, take the focus away from the camera and back to having fun.

  • Relax

Try and relax.  If the session really is going terribly bad, take a break and try again another time, also keep the images you took, they are all precious and even the most grumpy images can end up being your favourite ones.

 

    Newborn session model call

    A little while ago I put out a post looking for babies that were due to be born during September in order to add to my portfolio and I had a huge response.

    I managed to fill all 3 spaces and added a 4th for a friend.

    Newborns are not the easiest to photograph and due to the fact that my youngest is turning 9 this year is safe to say that I don't have that much recent experience with them so it was a great opportunity to gain some and I thank all my new parents and second time parents who came into the old studio.

    Here is just a couple of images I loved from each session.

     

    Margate Newborn photographer

    10 things to ask your photographer

    Poppy Field
    Mote Park Engagement session

    At the end of every wedding consultation I always ask "do you have any other questions?"  This often leaves my clients wondering if that was all of their questions, we get caught up in conversation that they might forget some of the questions they have been wanting to ask or they simply don't know what to ask about as its the first time booking a photographer.

    Here is a simple list of questions you should ask your photographer.

     

    • What experience do you have and can we view some galleries from your previous work?

    The chances are that you have seen their website, and loved the work you saw on their pages, their Facebook page etc but, what you normally don't see is the whole day gallery.  It's good to see the whole day gallery as it gives you a better understanding of what they photograph, the details and also the non posed images.

     

    • Are you Insured?

    It is important to know If your photographer has liability insurance, just in case.

    • What rights do we have with the images?

    The photographer will always have copyright over the images but this just means that if a magazine wants to print them they will need permission from the photographer.  Most photographers will give you printing rights as well as the right to share on social media etc. 

    • What packages do you offer and are they customisable?

    To make sure you get the coverage you want its good to make sure that the photographer you are looking for is able to meet your needs.  Most photographers offer full day coverage but if you are looking for someone to say that bit longer or you want to change the time they usually start to suit your needs etc. It is best to know at the consultation.

    • How long will it take to get our images after the wedding?

    Every photographer has a different way of processing images so the wait can vary, also if it is a busy time for weddings ( spring/summer) then there is most likely going to be a bit of a longer wait.

    • What happens if you can't make it?

    You need to know what the photographer is going to do if for some reason they are not going to make it to your wedding.  What happens if they are ill, in hospital or a relative is ill?

    In the unlikely event your photographer can't make your wedding you need to know what they can put into place.  Will they find a good replacement or will they just issue you a refund?

    • Do we get a contract?

    This is very important!   I would recommend that you only book a photographer that can offer you some form of contract.  This covers you, them and everything that you are paying for and expecting to receive from them.

    • Do you mind my friend taking pictures as they want to do photography?

    I have been to so many weddings where there are obviously budding photographers wanting to build their portfolio but they tend not to tell me and it confuses me and sometimes just makes getting the shots a lot harder.  Once I get my shots I am more than happy to step aside and let the close friends take some images.  I think people starting out in photography is a wonderful thing and if I can help them get amazing images of your wedding (making sure I have mine done first) then I am more than happy to.

    • What do we get?

    Even after people book me, see the packages I provide, I have my brides wondering what they get after the wedding.  Make sure you ask exactly what you are going to be getting and also make sure it is actually something that you want.  

    • What is your "back up plan?"

    The back up plan is important.  You need to know what might happen if their camera fails, if their lens fails.  You may not know what camera they use, or what lenses are needed but if your photographer only has one camera and no backup, this might lead to a problem on the day so it is good to make sure.
    I have 3 cameras with me at all times.  You may think that is too much but, I carry 2 on me and one in the bag.  I have a range of lenses and backup lenses as well as multiple flashes and a ton of batteries for them all.  

    Always good to be prepared.

    I hope this list helps you.

    Beverley x

     

     

    How we take Lightning pictures

    After the recent storm we have been sharing the images we captured and we have had so many questions as to how we managed to take them.

    We decided to write it all out for you.  From how we setup the camera, to what settings we have the camera set to as well as how we finish them off in Photoshop.

    Storm Time

    • Checking on the behaviour of the storm on an app called real time lightning map.  Checking its position, progress and direction.
    • Once we know all the information we plan on where we go, where would make a great foreground for the image.

    Packing The Bag

    • Dslr (7D)
    • Wide angle lens (sigma 10-22)
    • Wired shutter release
    • Battery and memory card.
    • Tripod

    Taking The Shot

    • setup the camera on the tripod
    • setup the wired shutter release and lock it so it keeps going after every shot.
    • Keep track of the storm as you may need to relocate.
    • Try and stay dry, we use the boot of the car.

    Camera settings (Night time shots - 2am)

    • Camera set on manual mode
    • Shutter speed set to 8 seconds
    • Aperture set to F8
    • iso 500 - 600 (depends on how close the storm is)
    • High Speed shooting

    Once the storm has passed and the lightning has stopped, cross all fingers and hope you manages to capture the lightning.

     
     

    I hope this answers some of your questions for now, next blog I will explain our editing prosess when it comes to these images.
     

    Beverley x

    Work / Life balance and how it really is.

    When you run your own business from home it becomes your whole life. I feel bad for not spending time with the kids and, when I am with the kids I feel that I should be working.

    It is a constant cycle of work and guilt, we all feel it.

     
     

    I absolutely love what I do and I look forward to going out there and photographing people, places and most of all, I love photographing the connection between people which is why I love weddings so much, but, It comes as a price of a lot of guilt from loving the job and missing the kids.

    All is not lost!  I have found my answer and it works really well for me.

    1. I plan time for friends and separate time for family.
    2. I STICK TO MY PLANS! (The best I can) I try not to make  any exceptions when it comes to plans with my family.  Yes I know, you get a call, someone wants to book you for a certain day and they can't do any other day at all!  I let them go, I know its hard to say no but my family need me more than I need to overwork myself, even though I love to work.
    3. I set goals for the future and I revisit them every day.  I have a list on my laptop, in my diary and also a constant list in my head of the things I am aiming to achieve and I also talk about them with the children and my ever so patient husband.

    I best get back to editing while the children are at school
    I hope you have a happy and productive week.
    Beverley x