by: S. SHANKAR
|A baby in the house is a great time to put your photographic skills to
test. Those lil' brats are so very unpredictable, and put on shows of expression which are
a photographer's delight. Alright, an alert photographer's delight.
Yes, if you are alert, and ever ready, you can capture some terrific shots of your kids while they are at their mischievious best. All thats needed is a bit of alertness, and a ready camera. It might be worthwhile getting a simple point and shoot camera simply for capturing these moments. You will cherish these memories for a lifetime.
Two tips for photographing children: keep them busy, and do not try and pose them. Tots are at times amazingly cooperative, and will give you a terrific pose, complete with a million dollar smile to boot. Now thats not exactly what we are after, are we? We need candid shots, their natural expressions.
Second, stick around for a while with the kids, camera in hand. As long as you are not actually shooting, they will soon not bother about the camera, and get back to their usual activities. This is the best time to shoot. As I'd said earlier, children do give terrific poses at times, but they are at their natural best if left to themselves, with something to occupy them.
One generally tends to photograph a lot when the child is just born, or for the first couple of years. As the kid grows older, energies are spend mostly in running after them, than in photographing them. This is when the older photographs come in handy.
My son is now all of twelve years old. I hardly feel like photographing him nowadays. His typically adoloscent behavious doesn't help either. So pictures of him are few and far between. He has now begun to understand things, and simply refuses to pose for photographs. Its difficult to keep him occupied and then shoot on the sly, as he knows exactly what I am doing. In fact, he has three point and shoot cameras himself!
So make the most of your kids when they are tiny tots. Shoot lots and lots and lots of pictures of them. Without your knowing it, you are building up a priceless heritage, something you will hold very dear to your heart, especially when your child is away studying, or at work, or married and moved away.
Here is a brief selection of pictures of various of my son's expressions. These pictures are spread over a twelve year period. I was away from my son for over four years, when he and my wife temporarily moved back to India: it were his pics which kept me going. Almost all pictures on this page are shot with my old Yashica Electro 35 in Aperture Preferred mode. A handful of pics are made with my now defunct Olympus AF10 point and shoot, with the latest taken with my Minolta Maxxum/Dynax 5xi.
Never mind what folks might tell you about dangerous using flash on children, delicate skin etc. They may be true to a certain extent, but as long as you are sensible, like you don't aim the flash at their eyes, or flash too close to their skin etc., they will be OK.
Some of the pics are a little soft. This is due to low resolution scanning: sharpening the pics make the pictures distort.
DISCLAIMER: I am not in the business of selling cameras, film or photo finishing services. In fact, I'm not even a professional photographer. I'm only a photo nut who loves shooting.
|1. At 3 months. Just a nice, bubbly expression.||2. Up close and personal. At 4 months.||3. Dad constantly aiming his camera at me is boring business! At 4 months.|
|6. A look of mischief on his face: at 1 year.||7. Hmmm. Nothing like having your snout into rich, creamy yoghurt! At 1 year.||8. Whats this long thing sticking out of mama's face? At nearly 1 year.|
|9. Let me replace the video tapes on this shelf with myself. At 2 1/2 years.||10. Uummmmm. Just makin' a face. At 2 1/2 years.|
|11. Milk? Not until I've gotten wind ot today's headlines! At 3 years.||12. Fancy some chocolate dad? OK, I've finished the chocolate, you can lick the wrapper.||13. Sheepish: now where did I kick that big, red, ball I was playing with?|
|14. Total glee. Never mind that the bike is bigger and heavier than I am.||15. Hello? What, wait another fifteen years for my own phone? I need to get on the potty line, right here and now! At 2 1/2 years.|
|16. First day at school, and totally lost already. Straighten up, kid, the schoolbag isn't quite there yet. At 2 1/2 years.||17. My dad is a total train fanatic. How do I look in this thing? At 3 years.||18. No excess baggage on my account! At nearly 3 years.|
|19. A long gap from photography, as my son was away from me: At nine years. Scared to go into the water: Mom, me a journalist: just see the scoop I got!||20. OK, that sparkler won't explode. It is not a firecracker. Just closing my ear, just in case! At ten years.|
|21. Like an Indian film hero,eh? At eleven years.||22. Sheer ecstacy. At eleven years.||23. This webpage is all about me? At eleven years.|
|So, there you are then. A record for you to cherish. Maybe no one else is interested than you yourself. In that case, I'm sorry, I did not mean to impose. My idea of building this website is only to hopefully encourage you to try and capture those priceless moments, moments which will appreciate in value for you, and you alone.|
|Please direct all comments to the SLR Photo group or to me on my personal
email at: email@example.com