Photographing a One Year Old

133a4744rsToday’s prompt is about teaching something.  Anything.  So here goes.  There is a lot to be said for photographing a one year old.  They come.  They go.  They turn their back on you.  They are hilarious!  They are happy.  They are cranky.  Oh…and then, they are happy again! I have been very fortunate to have amazing little ones to photograph who do really well in front of the camera.  Let’s take Andrew, for example.  Today I photographed Andrew.  Now I did this session in my home studio with a hand-painted canvas.  My first thought was to use the wood floor and lift the canvas so that it was just hovering at the edge of the floor.  But, I knew from experience that my chances of getting something more seamless and efficient for crawling was going to be to lower the backdrop and make a place for little Andrew to play.  So, that is what we did.  His nana helped to move him around and gave him props and called his name to get his attention while I shot the portraits.   Some of the portraits came straight out of the camera amazing.  And then, there are those that are in need of serious help.  Lighting is good.  Focus is good.   Image is off the backdrop somewhat.  Okay with me.  I know how to fix this. This may possibly require a little cropping.  It also may require stretching the edges of the frame so that all the items in my living room no longer show, just the backdrop.  This is fairly easy to do in Photoshop.  You can use the Marquee tool and copy an area of the backdrop that is in good condition.  Then paste it where it is.  Then you will use the Move tool and stretch the canvas as far as you need to take care of covering up what is showing at the borders.  This works really well when you have a good amount of space to work with.  If you do not and your subject is too close to the border area, then you will need to freeze your subject before stretching the edges.  Use the Marquee Tool to place a box around your subject.  Then go to the Select Tab at the top and select Inverse.  Then, using your Move Tool again you can stretch the outer borders without effecting your subject at all.  This takes some practice, but is relatively easy.  You may also need to check to make sure you don’t have an obvious line.  If you do, then you will need to clone that out.  Easy enough to do.  So, that being said, there are many things to learn and practice when photographing a one year old.  Until you do it over and over again it will be difficult to get really good at it.  And of course, they are all different.  And I think it is also how well they know you.  If you have photographed them before, it is easier.  If you have never met them, then I would suggest getting together with the family before the session so that the child can see you and at least know that you are not a complete stranger.  This will help to build a little bit of a relationship before the big day.  And…if that doesn’t work out, no worries.  Just make sure to let the little one be who they are.  They will be much happier if they are getting direction from one person, not many and not all the time.  I know I get confused when I have four people calling my name at once!  Happy Shooting!

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