21 : Point of View


Seeing all sides of the story

Children, especially young ones, are notorious for being stingy about the time they allow parents to take their pictures. Typically, the opportunity to photograph kids lasts anywhere from minutes to mere seconds, often in short bursts of time.

With this in mind, it’s important to find ways to be efficient when you take their pictures. One of the best ways to do this is to learn how to take images from varying perspectives… quickly! For this lesson, you are challenged to document your family during an activity from different angles and points of view. This lesson is an extension of the previous lesson on epic longshots.

Your camera settings will probably not change too from shot to shot. Therefore, once you get your settings to your liking, you have a great opportunity to really concentrate on trying to new angles and finding good compositions. To guarantee you won't have to constantly change your camera settings, look for activities taking place a shady spot or on a cloudy day.

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Working the angles

  • At eye level. This perspective is effective for close-up, half-body, and full-body images.
  • From an angled overhead position. Capture a close-up from a higher level for a wonderful picture that brings out their eyes. Move back for a shot that incorporates their whole body.
  • From directly above. Wrap your camera strap around your wrist for safety and hold your camera out above your child, especially while she’s engaged in a craft, homework, or play. This shot offers a fun overhead perspective of a candid moment.
  • From the side. Have your child look out a window or off into the distance for a lovely contemplative image. Then have him look down at his feet and move in close for a detailed shot of his eyelashes.
  • From behind. Move behind your child and grab a shot of her looking out at a field, a lake, a window, a ball game… whatever is capturing her interest at the time.
  • From far away. Don’t forget to look at the whole picture! Step back and purposefully incorporate a large amount of background to bring a grand feel to your image.
  • Details! Once you’ve captured your child from multiple angles, be sure to come back in and look for any special details that you may have missed. For example… if your child is making cookies in the kitchen, have you captured his little hands rolling the cookie dough or adding sprinkles? Capturing the small stuff can fill in the details of the story you’re telling through your photography.

Creative Prompts

  • Any activity is suitable for this lesson, but to make it easy on yourself try to capture shots where your kids aren't moving too quickly. Avoid, bike riding or skateboarding, for example!
  • Be opportunistic. Grab your camera when you see your child is engaged in a project or activity. You will get a little longer to play around with angles if your child is already absorbed in what they are doing.

Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!