Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How I Photograph Children and Pets

Hello my fellow photo enthusiasts!

I am still going strong on my switch to Manual mode. Feel free to read my previous post about it!

This week I've decided to share with y'all how I shoot my nieces/nephew, and how I get great photos of pets.

Let me start by saying that if you want to photograph children indoors in low light, GOOD LUCK. Just remember that you can raise your ISO up to about 1600 without a considerable amount of grain. Your photos will be grainy at 3200 ISO for sure. When it comes to shooting kids, I prefer faster shutter speed. If that means my photos will be grainy, so be it. I want to be able to capture them as they are moving.

All photos are shot with the Nikon D3200 DSLR, Nikkor 18-55mm VR lens, and the Nikkor 50mm/1.8G lens.

Here are some photos of my nieces Allie and Hadley on Easter Sunday:

 These photos were shot near a window, so that was a huge help. I was still shooting in Shutter priority at this point, and still with my 18-55mm VR Kit lens.
 Aren't Hadley's eyes gorgeous? She was such a trooper that day.

 All we had to do was ask Allie to say "Cheeeeeeese!" and she gave us the cutest grin ever!
 You can notice some grain in this photo, but Allie's eyes are still sharp.

 I tried as hard as I could to keep the shutter speed at 1/125, so my ISO was set at between 400 and 800.

 And with a quick wardrobe change, Allie is out in the yard running. I love outdoor photos so much!

 And finally, a smile from little miss Hadley:
In the photo above, I had a lot of help from the large window behind me. Natural daylight is a great resource and will allow for crisper photos.

Now for the pets. First, my 10-year-old cockapoo Lilly:
 The same rules apply for pets. Faster shutter speed will be your savior. Pets move just as quickly as kids, so keep snapping and you'll get a great shot like the one above.

The photo above is probably the most tack sharp photo I have of Lilly. This was taken on Day 1 of my switch to Manual. My kit lens only goes to f/3.5, so I kept it there and bumped the ISO up to between 400 and 800. Shutter speed was between 1/80 and 1/125. I am fairly pleased with this one :)

And here are some photos of my cousin Sara's Australian Shepherd, Lia:
 Isn't she beautiful?
 The photo above is another favorite of mine. Shot in Manual and with my 50mm 1.8G lens, I kept the Aperture around f/2.8, shutter speed around 1/500, and the ISO between 100 and 200.

And now for a few adorable shots of my new nephew, Aiden:

Isn't he a doll? The 50mm lens does not zoom, so I need to physically move closer to get the shot above. I am so pleased with how sharp they turned out.

In conclusion, if you are looking to take great pictures of your kids and pets, I recommend that you invest in a lens with a wider aperture, like the 50mm 1.8. If you only have your kit lens, make it work. Crank up the ISO indoors and speed up the shutter. Keep the ISO around 200 outdoors, shutter speed at least 1/125, and aperture between f/1.8 and f/3.5. As always, play around with the settings. I had set up my camera for some pictures, but it ended up being way overexposed. Finally, just keep snapping! Keep your camera on Continuous mode and click away. You'll be amazed at what photos you end up with:

Want to see more posts like this? Sound off in the comments!

xoxo, Ang

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