Friday, June 20, 2008

Photographing Children #5

For the final in this series about cameras and kids, I want to discuss opportunity. Cameras usually are trotted out for Christmas and birthdays, maybe the occasional school play or sports day. But kids are such a source of valuable images that it is advisable to have your camera close at hand always. Often when I am out taking photographs I look to see if there are kids around, because if there are, it usually means photographic opportunity. For children in the family, my experience is that they love to look back on photographs of themselves when they were younger, even if they pretend that they don't. However, I once was asked by a friend to take some portraits of his two daughters, which I was only too happy to do. He loved them, but one of the girls had just lost her baby teeth, and her big smile showed that she was missing her two front teeth. She still hasn't forgiven me for taking the photo. But generally, even photographs like the one above, of my nephew Jonathan practicing his flute, are looked on fondly in later years.

A word of caution though - you do need to be careful about taking photographs of children who do not know you. If you do not know the children and they are with adults, it is wise to ask permission before taking any pictures at all. Strangers taking photographs of children can be a hazardous occupation these days. Even though photographers generally have the legal right to take photos of people in public areas, I would not take pictures of children if the adults with them objected to it.

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