One Light Wonder for Children Portraits: by Daryl Brown

Photographing children can be challenging let alone getting them to sit still for the session. So for me as I’m sure many other portrait photographers, I keep the process simple. I use one large soft box with a strobe and I let the kids be kids. To me thats the true image most parents want unless they are trying to get model agency representation. When I have a child portrait session, I do my best to not have things around that would distract them and I also tidy up the cords and other miscellaneous gear to avoid accidents because we all know kids are adventurous. Its always good to know ahead of time exactly what the clients want as far as background and or location. Most of my clients so far just wanted either a white, dark gray or sometimes black background. That seems to be the standard so my advice  is to keep a roll of each around and present them with options, they’ll appreciate that more. Once you know what type of image the client wants thats where my simple one light setup can come in handy. (SEE DIAGRAM)

As you can see this lighting setup is simple and versatile and will deliver great results. Keep in mind that you are photographing kids so you want the very best light for the client. You don’t want to go to edgy (deep dark shadows or what not unless thats the intent of the client) and always keep a reflector or foamcore handy. I use a large soft box because of the wide spread of light and since I’m photographing newborns to 8 y/o I don’t need multiple lights etc. Keeping it simple will make the session easier, productive and that much more fun. Below are some images I have produced using one light.

One more thing, don’t be afraid to have fun and be a little creative. Let the clients know ahead of time exactly what you want to experiment with at the end of the session if time permits. Clients really like this because they feel they are getting something a little extra for their money.  And we like making clients happy don’t we? Below are a few creative portraits I have produced all using one light.

As always get out in your studio and experiment and test,test,test and test again.

Daryl BrownDaryl Brown is an award winning beauty, fashion, and portrait photographer located in Arlington, VA. Daryl’s career as a photographer has spanned nearly two decades from his start as a news videographer to his work today photographing all types of individuals…from radio and TV personalities to aspiring models to new borns.

Daryl has received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award and an Emmy award for photojournalism in investigative news.

Daryl is known for his attention to detail from prep to post in all of the images he has produced. His work has appeared in Council Magazine, The Washington Post and an exhibit at Century 21.

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Company: Daryl Brown Photography

Photo Credit: © 2010 Daryl Brown

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