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100% Kid: A Professional Photographer's Guide to Capturing Kids in a Whole New Light

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100% Kid: A Professional Photographer's Guide to Capturing Kids in a Whole New Light


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  • Copyright 2014
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-95740-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-95740-5

Start with the kid! This sounds obvious when photographing children, but many images start with a couch in a field, or a tutu the size of Montana. What do these props have to do with the child you are photographing?
In this funny and beautifully illustrated guide, photographer Allison Tyler Jones provides inspiration and practical techniques for photographers to effectively capture kids in beautiful light. She challenges readers to go a little deeper in their thought processes and to be more personal, more thought provoking, more humorous, and more real.

From a practical, photographer’s perspective, this guide approaches studio and on location lighting with a mix of technical information and advise on how to apply these ideas while working with subjects that are shy, sulking, showing off, or constantly in motion.

Readers will learn about:

  • Five Ms lighting concept–mood, main, measure, modify, and move–and how to include them into a decision-making process.
  • Selecting a light source, setting the camera to sync, and triggering the flash.
  • White seamless backgrounds and practical considerations for hanging and using them in your studio.
  • Directing the shoot and how to work with kids, clients, and even pets.
  • Choosing props with integrity, clothing suggestions, and styling the shoot.
  • Decisions about setting and lighting on location.
  • Finishing the job you started with presentation of your product to your clients.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

A Lighting Gear Checklist for Photographing Kids

Sample Pages

Download Chapter 4: Lighting Gear

Table of Contents


Section I: The Vision

Chapter 1: Start with the Kid

Chapter 2: Brace Yourself
Tactics in dealing with the younger set
Respect goes a long way
The Client Consult
Kid Psych 101
Parental Units: Managing Expectations

Chapter 3: Developing Your Style
Embrace Restraints
What do you like?
What do you hate?
Repeating themes in your work?
How I Developed/Refined My Style
What’s Their Story?

Section II: The Process

Chapter 4:  Lighting Equipment
Light is Your Medium
On Camera vs. Off Camera Flash
Lights, Camera, Action
Lights: We are lighting kids, not cars, supermodels
Technical considerations
Fast recycle times on lights
Freeze action
    Flash Lighting
    Studio Strobe
    Power Packs - pros/cons
    Monolights - pros/cons
    Speedlights - pros/cons
Camera: Sych Speed            
Action: Triggers from PC Cord, Pocket Wizards    

Chapter 5: The 5 M’s of Lighting Technique
Creating a decision making process(MOOD, MAIN, MODIFY, MEASURE, MOVE
Safety considerations
My Lighting Gear

Chapter 6: One Light Five Ways in the Studio
Push the Boundaries or Stay in the Box
Lighting Patterns Made Easy
One Light, 5 Set-ups
#1 Evenly Lit Groups
#2 Up and Over
#3 Rembrandt-ish
#4 Silhouettes
    #5 Spotlight/Grid Spots
The Five Most Common Lighting Mistakes
    #1 Light Too Low
    #2 Subject too close to Background
    #3 Light too far away from Subject
    #4 Too Many Lights
    #5 Boring Light

Chapter 7: The White Seamless Manifesto in the Studio
How to Light White Seamless Background – 3 Lights
Lighting your subject separately from the background
Controlling light spill    and contrast    
V-Flats to cover lights
Lighting subject separately with dimension
One Background Multiple Looks
Cleaning it up in Post        
Chapter 8: Lighting on Location
Decisions about Setting
Where? Studio or Location
Location Lighting
Location Flash Exposure Principles
My Location Gear

Section III – The Shoot

Chapter 9: Props and Posing
Styling the Shoot       
Props with Integrity
Posing Ideas/Tricks
Point of View-Shooting Angles

Chapter 10: Directing the Shoot
The Director
Directing for Expression
Prompted Reality
In-Between Moment
Photographer Personalities--What kind of Director are you?   

Chapter 11: Putting it All Together
Start with the Kid(Baby? Toddler? Tween?
Be Prepared
Safety and Comfort
Actual Client Shoots

Section IV– The Final Product
Chapter 12: Finishing the Job You Started
The Case for Prints/Output
Valuing your work
Edit Ruthlessly and Refine the End Product
Timeless Presentation
The “Crack”
What would MoMa do?


Download Appendix A in PDF format


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