Five Tips for Photographing Teenagers

This is our last in our three part series on photographing your children as they grow up. Today we bring you some tips on photographing teens. You might want to look back at our tips on photographing babies and taking photos of children. We hope you enjoy.

Photo credit: Tiffany Joyce

Teenagers can be very, very particular about their appearance in a photograph. It has to be “cool”, it has to show them at their best, and the photo needs to capture their own unique personality and style. As such, working with teenage subjects can be quite a challenge. Photographing a teenager in a more formal setting, such as prom or yearbook pictures, can be somewhat easier than working with younger subjects, as the teen is able to comprehend your instructions and can demonstrate more patience for the photographic process. Action shots, such as sporting events, are also important to fully capture this time in the teen’s life. Always remember to have fun and encourage dialogue to fully understand the goals of the photo shoot. The next time you have the opportunity, try out these tips for photographing a teenager.

One – Set the goals and expectations up front. Have a detailed conversation with the teen about the expected outcome of the photo shoot. What kinds of poses do they want? Will there be multiple outfits? Will the shots be just for fun, or are they going to be used as their class picture or in their yearbook? Settle on how long the photo shoot will last as well, to control “scope creep”. Most importantly, discuss the details with the teenager as their equal.

Photo credit: Tiffany Joyce

Two – Compose multiple portraiture shots. Get in close for a head or head and shoulders shot by using the long end of a telephoto lens (such as a 70-200mm) or a long prime lens (such as a 200mm f/2.0), and use a shallow depth of field (f/5.6 or lower). Use a tripod and remote shutter release to ensure tack-sharp photos. For full body poses, a 18-55mm lens is a great, flexible lens. Photograph at f/11 to ensure the entire subject is in focus. For indoor portrait shots in continuous light, shoot at ISO 400 at f/11. For outdoor portrait shots shoot in aperture priority, also using ISO 400.

Three – Use a fast lens for sports photography. Choose a 70-200mm f/2.8 or a 300mm f/2.8 (unfortunately this is out of reach of pretty much everyone  $4700! so using a non prime 300mm lens is still an option – you might just need to push up your ISO, or go where there is more light – here is a list of 300mm lenses less than $500), and set the camera to shoot in continuous or “burst” mode. A fast lens will allow you to use a faster shutter speed even in lower light levels. This will ensure that the subject in the photograph is sharp even if captured in motion, and is a good choice whether you’re shooting an indoor event or an outdoor event. Shooting in burst mode will capture a succession of motion shots, and also increases the chances of capturing a tack-sharp, correctly composed and correctly exposed shot.

Photo credit: Tiffany Joyce

Four – Plan ahead for the special events. Talk with the teenager about their plans for homecoming, prom, championship or rivalry games, and the like. Remember to bring the camera with you for their test to get their driver’s license. They’ll suffer through the “embarrassment” of first-date pictures if they know about them ahead of time. Also, consider documenting a “day in the life” – follow the teen around for a day taking photographs, so they can look back upon this time in their life and recall how they used to spend their free time.

Five – You can handle multiple teenagers! Many times teens would like to create a group photographic project with their friends. Be open and friendly, and solicit suggestions and ideas. Set expectations up front to encourage the process to keep moving forward. Anticipate several hours for multiple poses, locations, and outfits. Pay equal attention to each individual – in group shots, photograph multiple poses and rearrange the subjects so that they each have a turn being in the center or being the “featured” subject. Be sure to take individual shots of each teenager. Consider breaking up larger groups into multiple smaller groups for variation. Take candid shots of the teens interacting with one another to capture more natural poses.

Five Tips for Photographing Children

We are happy to share the second in Snapblog series on photographing children at different stages of their lives. Last week we shared some tips on photographing infants, today we has some tips on taking photos of children and on Tuesday we will bring you more tips on photographing teenagers.

Photo credit: Mike Baird on Flickr Creative Commons

Capturing the joy, abandon, and innocence of childhood in a photograph can be challenging. Our desire for the preservation of the memory of this fleeting time in our children’s lives is far removed from the dreaded elementary school or department store photographs we were subjected to as youngsters. Yet the idea of chasing them around, trying to get them to stand still, and trying to get them to cooperate with a photo session may be too tiring to contemplate. Here are a handful of tips to help you capture great photographs of children, from toddlers to pre-teens.

One – Let your photo shoot be secondary to what the kids are doing. Put a long lens on your camera (for instance a 55-300mm telephoto) and take candid shots of the children from afar, as they play or interact with their environment. It is far more desirable to photograph them moving naturally, rather than sitting stiffly with a grimace on their face. Make the most of bright sunlight and a fast shutter speed to “stop” their action in mid-motion.

Photo credit: Angie Garrett on Flickr Creative Commons

Two – Shoot in continuous, or “burst” mode. When shooting children, or any action shot, set the camera to “High Speed Continuous” mode, so that pressing and holding down the shutter will capture a series of shots until the shutter button is released. This method of shooting has two benefits: first, it ensures that at least some shots will be in-focus, appropriately exposed, and well composed. There is a better chance of getting “the” shot if there are a lot of shots. Second, it creates a series of shots that can be arranged in a group to show the child in action.

Three – Become as tall (or as short) as they are. Photograph the child from the child’s perspective, instead of from high above them. Even shoot from below the child looking upward – when you’re photographing kids you can’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees! It’s also fun to bring the child up to your height – have them sit or stand on a picnic table or rock, or low tree branch. Just keep their safety in mind!

Photo credit: Lisa M Photography on Flickr Creative Commons

Four – Use a shallow depth of field. Shoot at f/5.6 to begin with, and if you are shooting even closer to get fine detail – perhaps the face fills the entire frame, or you’re capturing specific features – use an even shallower depth of field. A 50mm f/1.4 lens creates beautiful bokeh (background blur) and softens the light quality for a lovely effect.

Five – Encourage participation. Ask the child what they would like to have photographed. Perhaps the child has a favorite activity that they’d like a picture of them doing. Maybe he or she has a favorite outfit or hat, baseball glove or stuffed animal. Don’t forget that just as the photographs are for the child’s parents, they’re for the child as well. Taking the child’s priorities into consideration when photographing them will create within the child a whole new level of enthusiasm for your efforts.

Top 5 most popular Nikon Lenses

Following on yesterdays post of the top 5 most popular Canon Lenses of 2010, we present the most popular Nikon Lenses of 2010. This list is based on our users’ searches from the past year.
What do you think, are we missing any lenses?

Following on yesterdays post of the top 5 most popular Canon Lenses of 2010, we present the most popular Nikon Lenses of 2010. This list is based on our users’ searches from the past year.What do you think, are we missing any lenses?

Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX

The auto focus on the Nikkor AF-s 35mm f/1.8G DX lens is very fast and the lens weighs next to nothing. It is great for indoors and low light conditions.

Looks like you guys really like prime lenses, well you have picked a good one here. Great for low light and allows you to tightly control the depth of field.

This is one of my favourite lenses in my camera bag. It perfectly balances performance and price. Great for portraits or parties.
A fantastic macro lens with built in image stabilization and a focus motor. This is a durable lens that I would not be afraid to use, it also would make a great portraits lens. Only down side is it is heavy.
Take a look at some other great Macro Lenses for your Nikon.

Top 5 most popular Canon Lenses

The team at LensHero loves data, so we have compiled a list of the top lenses of 2010 based, on what you have been searching for.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

You can not go wrong with a the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II, it’s small and cheap. It functions well in low light conditions and is a great portraits lens. The perfect lens for beginners.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Again another great low light lens this is one big step up from the 50mm f/1.8. It also includes a focusing motor which will should provide faster and quieter focusing.

Here is a full list of Canon low light lenses.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 is an amazing macro lens, allowing you to get those amazing close up shots. This lens has a very smooth auto focus which will help when you are in close to your subject.

Here is a list of other great Macro Lenses for your Canon.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

If I was in the market for a general purpose lens this is the one I would buy. This lens goes from a very wide 15mm right up to 85mm which is a zoom range of 5.7x which is more then enough for most people. This lens also has image stabilization which will come in handy.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

The pricey lens on our list, designed for professionals the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is one of the sharpest lenses out there.