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Taking Pictures of Kids in the Rain

April 2, 2012

Taking pictures of kids outside with umbrellas is a great way to turn a rainy day into a beautiful photo opportunity!  Get your child(ren) all dressed up in their rain jacket and boots, and get ready to get a bit wet yourself. Going in the rain with my camera was a bit scary for me, so I actually held an umbrella over me while I took photos during the hard rain.  Luckily for me, it started just sprinkling shortly after we went outside, so I wasn’t shooting one-handed for long!

Before I went outside with my daughter, I got my camera settings ready.  I knew that I was going to be outside with a decent amount of light, so I set my ISO at 200.  I chose a small aperture number (fairly wide open) because I knew that I wanted to blur out the background (I didn’t want our neighbours’ houses to show up too clearly).  I also wanted to make sure to freeze the action, so I choose 1/200 of second.   Then we went outside and I gave my daughter her umbrella. I capitalized on the fact that she had never gotten to hold an umbrella before, so she was really excited and interested in it.

As she walked out to the backyard I took a few test shots.  My purpose was not to necessarily get “keeper shots,” but just to check my exposure.  I wanted my camera to be ready for when I was “in position.”  Even so, with editing,  some of the tester shots are fun memories and worth keeping, even if they aren’t technically great.

Because the umbrella I have is bright red, I had to be aware of the red colour cast that reflected onto her face.  From certain directions, the light made the colour cast really strong.  I walked around her in a circle until I found the angle that was the best.  I also paid attention to angles where I would be able to see some catchlights in her eyes.

After that, all I could do was wait for the right moments.  I probably snapped around 20-30 pictures in around 5 minutes in the backyard.  Out of those, some were blurry and some were just not interesting.  But all that matters is that a few of them turned out, and I have a fun memory of my daughter being excited about being outside in the rain and using an umbrella for the first time.

In fact, she was so excited, that she cried when we went back inside!  So,  we ended up going for a walk around the block to check out the rain puddles.  And it was on that part of our outing that I managed to snap my favourite pictures of the day while she was interacting with a fire hydrant.

Living where we do, we get a lot of rain.  I was getting tired of photographing my children inside, so I’m glad I took the opportunity to embrace the rain, and we had a lot of fun doing it!

~Sonja (MWAC host)

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