From the Mailbox.
Dear Za Man,
I am ardent reader of your gracious blog and am in most awesome awe of you're photographic eye. I am in quandary and have questions about photographic field in general and in particles about photographing children. I see that in past you have been kind to have posted readers questions a long with you're wonder responses. If you would answer my quandary I would greatly be in eternal debt and much thanks,
SP I engaged use of Google Translate for this letter. Please apologies for any errors.
Thank you for your readership and kind words. The first rule in photography in general and in particular when dealing with children, is that everyone involved (kids, parents, photographer) must be having fun. In my opinion this is even more important than equipment, technical prowess, lighting etc. While one definitely can produce stunning results while having an absolutely awful time, the chances are slim.
So next time you head for a photoshoot the last thing you want to tell your kids is "we are going to be taking pictures. You must listen to everything the scary bearded guy says or else you don't get dessert". Instead try: "hey sammy boy, we are heading to the park to have an awesome time. We are gonna go on the slides, the swings and if the weather is right we might even get to try out that kite we got for your birthday! There's gonna be this cool hipster with a camera and he's going to take pictures of us having the best time ever, and if you're nice he might even let you take some pics!!".
Obviously that's not always possible. Sometimes you're all dressed up on the way to grandmas for dinner and you really want to squeeze in some shots before you get there. Make sure it's worth it...
Here's a shoot I did some time back with that last scenario. It started with a one of the daughters waking up in the car and freaking out (though she was pretty cute about it). Eventually she had some fun and we ended up with some great pics. It helped that the kids are absolutely dolls (and the parents are pretty neat too).
As the photographer in this case I should have prepped the parents a little better. Next time.
And the pics: