Child Portraiture #3: Get down on the knees

If you’re having any knee problems, now would be a great time to visit the nearest IKEA and buy a stool or a low chair. Because you are going to spend quite some time with your camera from a height of approximately 1 meter.

In most cases you want the camera to be at the same level as, or just a little above, the eyes of the child – and any other subject with eyes for that matter. In addition to making the expression more natural, it’s also more relaxing for the smaller child, if that stranger of a photographer is not staring down from high above through a huge lens. Get down on your knees or a stool to fit the level of the child. But don’t go down too much. If you make a person look down, the face is “squeezed” together creating double chins and smaller eyes. You really don’t want that – because your clients don’t want that.

It could be tempting just to place the child on a chair high enough to fit YOUR eye level. It would not just be making smaller children uncomfortable and less focused, but you would also miss out on every opportunity to catch that natural candid moment when a child moves around on the floor.

Some people tend to close their eyes a little when smiling. When this is the case, you should make them look up a little. Go higher, but not so much that it’s obvious that the photo is taken from above. When people look up the visible part of their eyes gets bigger, even when they are smiling. And as mentioned earlier, the eyes are of great importance to the portrait, so you want as much of the eyes as you can get.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *