I was killing time on an assignment when I was approached by a police officer
who said her husband had given her an "expensive camera" as a gift for
Christmas so she could photograph their children and she said she didn't
know where to start.
I told her there were plenty of classes she could look into and I suggested she try
calling the community college in her area to inquire about non-credit classes,
but in the meantime I suggested two things even though I have never seen her
First of all, with her children I suggested that she get closer. Get as close as possible
and then get closer. While starngers might object to her getting in their
faces with a camera, her children would probably love it at least until their teen years.
Photojournalist Robert Capa once said, "If your photos aren't good
enough, you're not close enough.". Capa is worth googling.
Second I told her to shoot way too many photos. She should shoot thousands of
photos of her kids. One of the great advantages of digital photograhy is that you
can reformat and delete your failures. Overshooting and editing does a couple
things. It raises your odds of getting a great photo more than you can calculate,
and if you pay attention to what you're doing (maybe take notes) overshooting will
familiarize you with your camera.
It's not unusual for the subjects of professional photographers to complain that we
get too close, or to gripe because we are taking so many photos. I hear these things
all the time, but what they remember is the photo.