How To Control The Timing When Taking Child Photography?

  • A child will not be rushed. He may warm to you in a minute; he may take half an hour. Each, according to his disposition, has a time-limit of acceptance of the unfamiliar. Any attempt to coerce him before he has made up his mind about you is courting failure.

  • When I first started to photograph children, with slow materials and exposures of up to one second, the main preoccupation was to keep the child stationary. I soon realized that if I could induce every child to smile and remain motionless for long enough to give me a sharp picture, I should please parents. Smile-getting became a habit, as if this was the only kind of expression worth recording. A special kind of technique had to be developed in which I imposed myself on the child, held his attention and enticed him to smile. Since the peak of the expression had to be caught in the middle of the exposure, a sense of anticipation and split-second timing became highly developed.

  • I also developed a sense of timing in my approach to the child the little play-routines, the sounds and the jokes almost in the manner of a comedian's timing for laughs. Smiles became synonymous with photography. And every day there were dozens of children defying me to make them laugh. It was like a game, pitting my skills against their defiance and it could be exhilarating when things ran my way, frustrating at other times.

  • I felt like Gilbert's Jester
    `Though your head it may rack with a bilious attack
    And your senses with toothache you're losing,
    Don't be mopy or flat they don't fine you for that
    If you're properly quaint and amusing.'

More about Child Behavior Pattern During Photography

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