Over to You

Craig Richards loves cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful im­ages of ba­bies and young chil­dren

NPhoto - - Contents -

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 [4]. 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 [1] 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 [3] 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 [2], 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

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