When I saw this post by phat baby photographer I totally related to his description of watching four kids for 90 minutes and hoping a whole day had gone by. He compared it to an episode of 24. Love that.
Then he suggested a way to get 5 minutes to yourself – or to get some great pictures – should you find yourself watching a gaggle of kids at once.
Stuff them all in a Pack ‘N Play.
Read his post for tips on focus and consider his advice on shooting kids:
1.) The simplest thing to do is open up the windows in the room and take a shot with the natural, soft light. I didn’t have that option – the day was fairly overcast and reaching for the window shades assumed I was able to think straight with the screaming kids.
2.) If the parent has has a point and shoot or a dSLR that their familiar with, then the easiest thing to do is to shoot in B&W with the highest ISO (e.g. ISO 1600) your camera will allow with the aperture wide open (e.g. f2.8). No flash. I posted a bit more info on the technique on my blog.
3.) If the parent has an off camera flash or an external flash with a rotating head, then I’d bounce the flash off the ceiling (i.e. pivot the flash towards the ceiling to have the light reflect back down on the kids). This simulates natural, soft light. Shooting the flash straight on gives the nice deer in head lights look and would also cast a tint from the pack and play onto the faces of the kids.
In all cases, shooting with the widest angle lens and really close up adds to the sense of mayhem.