Photographing Children Playing with Water
After we have talked about the proper settings for taking beautiful pictures of rain and other types of movement, here comes more splash! Combining forces, add children to all that water and the result is magazine quality. Promise.
There is a new swimming pool area where I live, so I obviously had to go try my camera at the water fun zone. Children will always play in these places so there’s no doubt you will get wonderful photos with minimum effort. All you have to do is be lazy in a shady corner and click the shutter every now and then.
Waves and waves of pretty water drops every direction, these kids will make your children photography portfolio shine instantly. Get a few bushes in the background, for a touch of green, sun filtered through the branches of a tall tree and there, magic!
Everybody can take lovely photos like this, but if you want to go the extra mile, you should be a better observer than the rest of the participants in this field. Watch carefully and notice, what do they do? How do they do it? The child from the photo above was running up and down in the feet basin, just to splash water everywhere around, so to capture that I shot the exact moment he was flexing one of the legs in the process of running, while he almost reached the end of the basin. Full dynamics in just one photo, thus the image carries a strong impact.
Now let’s go the seaside for one bit and watch the kids playing in sand. Let’s watch them go into the water, let’s watch them putting on swimming goggles, looking for treasures underwater. A good photographer looks a lot, presses the button a little.
Children are really good subjects if you know how to capture their essence. Check out how they interact with each other, if they’re warm and open, friendly or selfish, do they play together or not, how do they play together? Observe, observe, observe, you will be captivated by their behaviours and the way their social contact changes. If you’re captivated enough, I guarantee you will be able to photograph what is essential. Some kids will come up to you and ask to see the pictures, others will shy away from the camera and lose their charisma, but there will be some who will start posing for you and that’s such a pity, because there goes your natural shots. The moment they know about you photographing them and start striking poses for the camera is the moment you lose the wow factor because the shots will turn out artificial and there is no way you can fix that in photoshop later. Nope. Secrecy is your only chance. Hide under an umbrella, toes in the sand, away from their busy eyes so that you’ll pass unnoticed and you can play the paparazzi just fine.
This is the only photo that ever turned out good once the child knew I had a camera in my hands and was getting ready to take a picture of him. The exception that proves the rule.
Seriously, hide. Hide and hunt the details, they will top everything else.