Photographer phenom Liz Banfield shoots weddings around the country and has a beautiful book to show for it, called, fittingly, Weddings. But when she's not capturing brides, she's often photographing kids - for Target ads, Real Simple magazine and other commercial and editorial clients. A mom herself, Liz has recently been blogging about child modeling, since so many parents think they want to get their children into it. Not me. I just wanted a few good pictures of my boys, ages 6 and almost 3, that did not involve an elbow in the lens. Liz invited us to her South Minneapolis studio to offer some pointers:
- Capture the energy rather than attempting to stifle it. Rather than sitting the boys on the sofa, Liz told them to jump over it (years of training down the drain in seconds). The resulting smiles were better than anything you'd get by saying "cheese."
- Get on their level. Literally - get down and get right in their faces. And mentally - the second Liz broke into potty humor, she became a hero to my giggling boys.
- Coordinate clothes, but don't match. Solid colors generally photograph best, especially in vivid hues - Liz preferred a cobalt blue over navy.
- Turn off the auto flash. Natural light always looks better
- Press the shutter down half way and wait for your moment. Kids move fast, and you want to avoid the typical delay associated with digital cameras.
Lucky for me, pictures don't actually speak a thousand words. Watch what happened when the video camera was rolling. Really makes you appreciate Liz's talent. (I promised we wouldn't return until it's time for graduation pics):