Children Photography Quick Tip: Don’t Focus On Your Subject

Darth Vader holding Darth VaderThis one’s a quick tip that many of you may know, Still I thought it is worth mentioning for the sake of fun and anyone who does not know it yet.

You know they say that you must have the eyes focused on a portrait shot? You know how they also say all rules were meant to be broken? I’m about to combine the two.

It is a play of DOF (Depth Of Field), it is quite simple and it works great with kids. In every photography session, you can consider making one of two photographs where you are not focusing on your subject, but on something that corresponds with it. It works great with kids, as they usually have a favorite toy, clothing or theme that you can relate to.

Here is what you need to make it work:

Fast Lens

You will need a fast lens for this, for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll want the creamy smooth bokeh that comes with fast lenses.

Secondly, and the shallow depth of field that fast lenses can provide. The faster the lens is, the shorter distance you will need to separate the “cookie” from the child. This is important when you deal with smaller kids who have shorter arms.

So this would really rocks with an f/1.4 lens, still great with 1.8 Lens, marginal with f/4 and almost impossible with any slower lens. The image below was taken at f/2.8 and the Darth Vedar photograph at the beginning of the post was taken at f/1.8.

I love Parsley

A Child

Ok, this is kinda obvious. I write it here just to remind that this will work great with adults too. (Think wedding ring on an engagement session, if you opt in for those kind of photographs). But for children this is almost always fun.

An Object

For children photography sessions this is kinda trivial as I always ask the parent to bring the child’s favorite toy. And even if they don’t I can pool something out of the prop box.

I like using something from the kid’s world and usually have a discussion about the toy and then ask him/her to show me how proud they are of the toy. Sometime they will push it forward as I’d like, and sometimes they push it up “weight lifting” style. If that is the case, I ask them to show it to the camera.

Random comments

The two images uploaded on this post show food as object of interest, I wonder if this means anything.

It’s never too early to get one’s son addicted to StarWars and if cookies is what it takes, so be it.

Got any children photography tips? Sound off on the comments.