Over to You
Craig Richards loves creating beautiful images of babies and young children
Three photo stories packed with brilliant shots, plus all your rants and raves
I’ve always been into photography, right from when I was a child playing with my dad’s film cameras in Zambia. I got hooked on digital when the D90 was released and I now shoot with a D600 and a D800e. Taking pictures gives me a release from the normal dayin-day-out routine. It certainly beats watching TV.
I began taking pictures of children by accident. I’d just bought my D600 when my grandson and niece arrived within a month of each other! My partner and I took tons of photos of them, like this shot of my grandson’s feet . Soon we started getting requests for photos from parents, at which point we invested in studio lighting and new lenses.
Kids in control
I’ve learned a lot in the last few years, but mainly I know that you just have to let shoots with children develop naturally – you’re not always in charge! I’m a bit of a kid myself, so I enjoy making shoots fun for them. If you’re outside it’s best to let kids play naturally: running around, jumping in puddles and kicking leaves all make for great photos. You have to get the shot right first time, though, or you’ll miss capturing the moment, so planning is important too.
When I arrive at a location I look at what light is available. I
usually shoot in manual mode with an external flash (normally my SB-910) fired through a Lastolite Ezybox II softbox. Lens-wise I’ll normally use my amazing 85mm f/1.4G on my D800e and alternate with a 50mm, sometimes swapping to my 70-200mm if the kids are playing further away.
Photographing newborn babies is extremely gratifying, often immensely funny and occasionally frustrating. I’ve had crying babies, sleeping babies, and one memorable baby who peed on me! Luckily my partner helps me out a lot. She’s wonderful at creating beautiful setups when we’re photographing tiny babies, and it’s really important to spend time with both the baby and the parents before the shoot. This
If you’re outside it’s best to let kids play naturally: running around, jumping in puddles and kicking leaves all make for great photos
shot  is from my first baby studio shoot, with a light to the left and a key light to the right, and this little fellow was an absolute joy to work with.
With bigger kids, it’s all about getting creative and having fun. I love this image of siblings  shot on an autumn day in our local park. I just played on their interactions to get the shots, although I don’t think he was very impressed with his sister giving him a hug!
A favourite shot
One of my favourite photos was taken on the way home from a day at the beach. I’d had the idea for the image in my head for a while so I picked up some colourful balloons and we found the perfect field just as the sun was setting. Coral was cold and tired and not too keen to pose, but in the end she agreed to walk back towards me towing the balloons. She was really pleased with the final shot , so it was worth the effort.
01 BABY Nikon D600, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO100
02 BALL OONS Nikon D600, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/60 sec, f/6.3, ISO320
03 CUDLE Nikon D600, Nikon 85mm f/1.4, 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, ISO560
04 FEET Nikon D600, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO1800