Photography Tip #1: Look for interesting shapes.
Getting fun pictures of my kids at the park sometimes seems like such a drag. Been there, shot that. I mean, seriously — we go to these parks all the time! How many “new” pictures am I going to find? So I went on a mission to look for little holes around the equipment to use to frame my daughter as she played.
Among the many shots I tried out that morning, these are a few of my favorites. Framed just by that slide-climbing-structure-thing my daughter is obsessed with. And yeah, it’s not the easiest thing to get a moving kid in focus whens hooting through a 1″ hole.
Photography Tip #2: Make lens distortion work for you by watching your angles.
If you’re working with an SLR, you’ll appreciate that I was shooting with a 35mm lens (having planned just to take pictures of the inside of my son’s camp, so my mom could see how amazing it is!). Since I had no other lenses with me, distortion was going to play a big part in the photos I was shooting. No way around that! So, I figured, gotta make it work for me.
Are you hungry yet? After the park, my daughter announced that she was hungry (I think that’s just her new favorite word, but I find it impossible to ignore the “I HUNGWEEEE, Mommy!” call), so we ran over to the newly renovated McDonald’s over on River Rd. in Bethesda (which, incidentally, looks like it should be a Cosi, rather than a child-friendly fast-food restaurant, but that’s another story entirely). I was determined to get some pictures of my daughter without the guy reading a newspaper in the background. So to eliminate the distractions, I casually stood up on the bench next to my daughter’s high chair, and grabbed a picture before they asked us to leave. (I did get a few weird looks, but hey, I love the picture, so it was worth it.)
Then back to Glen Echo Park to pick up big brother. Since the kiddos were dragging their feet walking back to the car, I gave up the fight and let them play in the dirt, figuring I’d see what I could get laying my camera on the ground and shooting up at them (since I was uncharacteristically wearing a dress that day, this meant shooting blind, camera on ground, me not on ground!).
There is something just so precious about shots looking up at a child. Don’t get me wrong — they don’t usually look great. But when they do, it’s like you’ve placed yourself in their world for just a moment, where they’re constantly looking up at you. And then, of course, sometimes, it’s just a little fun.
So, what do you think? Worth taking the time to break out of the more traditional playground pictures?! (Which I also took and will share our full lifestyle session — aka, Mommy and Daughter morning — soon….)
- Danie Smallwood, Bethesda, MD