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Photographing Children – POV [Point of View]

Since I began writing here at DPS, I’ve been shooting out little lists of tips for photographing children. But each little point on those lists has so much potential for further exploration in and of itself and it would be a shame not to delve deeper. Today, I am reflecting back on a post called ‘4 More Tips for Photographing Children‘. Specifically, tip #2 “POV”. The tip was this:

“Try a different point of view. It can add an edge to otherwise same-same photo situations and give your kid shots a whole new life of their own.”

POV is excellent, but what different POVs are there and what statement do they make? How can you practice this tip in your everyday life photographing your kids?

Photographing Children - POV [Point of View]1.} Everyday events – Try photographing your everyday life from another POV. My all time favourite POV is straight down from above. It’s so amazing to see my kids from this POV and it’s rarely ever done. Most people think of an upshot or downshot but rarely think to shoot straight down with a bird’s eye view. In this image of my daughter, it isn’t even an unrealistic POV because it’s exactly what I see when pushing her around in her buggy. It’s a mom’s-eye-view and I love it.
Photographing Children - POV [Point of View] This is another everyday event seen from an unnatural POV which makes a normally common photo of a baby messed with food more interesting. Don’t we always take photos of their faces covered in food? How about everything else?
Photographing Children - POV [Point of View]2.} How? Make use of the things around you. This shot was taken from me on the top of a playground climbing frame. I just asked Elijah to ride his scooter underneath me and I think the result was outstanding!
Photographing Children - POV [Point of View] 3.} Say something – A high POV instantly makes your subject appear smallish and highlights their vulnerability. This works especially well for children because obviously, children are small and vulnerable and so taking a photo from this angle acknowledges this fact and shows that you understand what it’s like to be a child.
Photographing Children - POV [Point of View] Photographing up from down below also says something. It says “I know you think you’re big – I’ll just let you think that!” Photographing someone from below makes them larger-than-life and highlights their superiority over that of the viewer. This is a particularly interesting POV for children because although they aren’t bigger than us in real life, they can be in pictures!
Photographing Children - POV [Point of View] 4.} Give it to ’em straight – a straight on POV says ‘we’re equals’ and surprisingly, it actually makes them bigger than the previously mentioned tip to shoot them from below. This says, “I’m not patronising you by making you feel big. We’re equals and you’re grown-up in your own right.”

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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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