This is a special edition post for many reasons! #1 It’s the first time a photographer is featured #2 She’s a mom who successfully turned her photography passion to a business, with celebrities, TV personalities as her clients and #3 It’s high time we parents of eczema kids have nice photos of our child!
Marcie Mom: Thank you Zurina for joining me here. As I’ve shared with you, taking photos of an eczema child may be difficult for various reasons (1) they may be scratching and so it’s another hurdle to get them to focus on the camera, (2) their skin may be having an eczema flare-up. I’m not a photographer, and I definitely don’t carry a camera around apart from my smart phone (plus my baby bag is already so heavy, check out this cartoon!) So, I’d be asking you questions on how to make the best of my current situation when taking photos of my child, I’m sure many parents will be facing the same!
MarcieMom: Ok, let’s get started with my upcoming wedding anniversary photo. I’d head out to a neighborhood studio, for a photographer to take a picture of the family (my hubby, my eczema toddler and I). Half the time she’s either scratching or too shy to look up. What can I do before, during the photo session to help the photographer to get her to look into the camera? Like should I bring my own toy, or is there a way to carry her for optimal positioning?
Zurina: As a parent myself, if I know I’m going to be taking photos of my kids I don’t do too much talking to them about it before the actually session. I want them to be as relaxed as they can be when they get there. If you’re dealing with a photographer who has experience working with kids they are usually well equipped to get the kids to pose with you or alone (or at least sit still for the required number of shots). Of course, kids are kids and sometimes bribery works! If you can bring their favourite toy that helps – so long as you know that once they get their hands on the toy it’s likely to be featured in the shot too! The other thing is…to have some sort of bribery ready…whether it be a promise of a new toy or treat.
MarcieMom: Assuming we are taking a family photo for the Zoo membership card – all our faces are required to be in the photo, and we’re taking it inside our home. What’s your take on positioning the smart phone, e.g. lighting or height?
Zurina: The key to taking a shot in your home is about the light. Turn on as many lights as you can and take a practice shot to check out the light. If you need to, pull in some other lights to brighten up your face in the photo. Lights should not be directly overhead otherwise you’ll get some harsh shadows.
MarcieMom: Now, we’re heading outdoors. Where should I stand to take the best light? Also, if say her legs are having eczema flare-ups and I want to take just the upper body, how best to ‘frame’ the photo? (Is ‘framing’ the right word?)
Zurina: The light (think sun) should generally be in front of you so you aren’t in the shadows. Of course, this means that for those who are sensitive will find this a little uncomfortable. In this situation, you can do the 3…2…1…countdown. Tell your subjects (family, friends, kids) to close their eyes and do the countdown. Tell them to close their eyes (to rest them) and to open them up when you hit 1. As for framing (yes, that’s the right word) – that really depends on how close a shot you want to get. Most new photographers will follow the Rule of Thirds when they start out in photography. I’d suggest checking out the Wikipedia page on that one.
MarcieMom: If we are taking photos of ourselves, using the front-facing camera. Is there a way for the faces not to be so huge, especially my girl may be having some rashes on her neck – anyway to take a shot so that the focus is on my girl’s smile instead of on her rashes?
Zurina: I’m terrible at taking photos of myself from that angle! I always feel like faces are massive in them! It’s all about the perspective. For this I would suggest learning how to use the timer on your camera instead. This allows you to move further away from the camera.
Thanks Zurina for taking time off your busy family life and photography sessions to help parents take their eczema children in a better light!