Santa Fe New Mexico Family and Children Photographer – David Moore» Blog Archive » Photographing older children – a girl and her dogs

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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.


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    November 15th, 2011

    Photographing older children – a girl and her dogs

    Shooting older children can be more tricky in some ways than, say, preschoolers – the older kids are more self-conscious and (wisely) more suspicious of a bloke with a funny accent showing up with a bag of cameras.

    It’s my job to try and make people feel comfortable, which I do in a number of ways. Some of it is just personality, and I talk to children pretty much as I’d talk to adults, which seems to go down well whatever age they are. I also start slowly, learning a little more about the girl or boy, and assessing their temperament.

    I tend to meet them where I find them – if they’re quiet and subdued, I’ll be quieter and smaller in my gestures and suggestions. If they’re energetic and full of beans, I’ll be running around with them in no time.

    Here are some images from a shoot earlier this year, where the subject Heather (I’m not using her real name, at her parents’ request) tolerated me very graciously. She’s funny and open, and loves dogs – we got on well.

    Shot in her yard in the early morning, we picked spots where the angled light would be attractive but not too harsh, and I used a reflector both to bounce light up into her face when she was backlit, or to diffuse some of the harsher light in other spots.

    I got stains on the knees of my trousers from kneeling down to capture Heather playing with her dogs, but only an idiot wears light trousers to a photoshoot, so I got what I deserved.

    I was talking to Heather throughout the whole shoot, and a couple of times she had this great look as she thought about the silly question I’d just asked her. I was very glad I caught it:

    The dogs were friendly and keen to play, so I spent a little time getting their portraits too.

    After seeing the photographs, Heather’s mum said, ‘you have a wonderful way of making people feel comfortable, especially children. [Heather] was very open with you and that was reflected in the photos.’

    I couldn’t wish for better feedback.


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