Book Comment: Photographing Childhood

I end up buying a lot of books, some I find more interesting and useful than others. The difficulty that I have is knowing what level the book is pitched towards. Books about photographing kids can be a real mixed bag. I have found a few that I liked. Nick Kelsh‘s book ‘How to Photograph Your Baby: Revised Edition‘ is interesting. Not f stops and shutter speeds but more what it takes to get a good shot of your kids. Working through some of the ideas had a significant impact on the quality of the photos of my kids. Well worth a look.

My recent purchase was Photographing Childhood by Lanola Kathleen Stone. I regretted the purchase as soon as I’d clicked buy on the amazon.com site. What was I thinking? I take a lot of photos of my kids but I’m happy enough with what I’m getting that I don’t feel a need to pursue this hard. I was blown away when Photographing Childhood showed up on my doorstep a few days later and I began flipping through it. The book covers a lot of ground, beginning worth a historical tour through some of the masters who’ve shot children and then onto the only chapter that deals with technical issues ‘Tools of the Trade’ which discusses light more than it does f stops and shutter speeds (awesome!) before hitting ‘A Timeline of Childhood’, a tour through some contemporary photographers and dealing with issues of file storage. If you only read the the chapters dealing with the historical and contemporary photographers you’d be ahead of the game. Buried in this section is a primer on how to view new images and a list of questions to run through as your doing so – for me this was worth the price of admission. Even if your primary focus is not shooting kids this is a great book to have on your shelf. Go get it!

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4 thoughts on “Book Comment: Photographing Childhood

  1. How funny!! I ordered the book last week….honestly mostly because I was captivated by the cover image (I admit I often buy books because of the cover grabs me)…now I am glad I did and I look forward to reading it. Capturing children’s essence is very very hard especially as they get older and are already starting to “comply” with certain behavioral rules. Small children are truly free spirits and although harder to capture (they are always in motion) they give me more satisfaction.

  2. Andy, thanks for your review of my book. I am so glad that you like it. Writing it was a wonderfully edifying experience (albeit a long and grueling task). Your words make me extremely happy that I expended the effort.
    Best Regards!
    LaNola

    • Hi Lanola,

      It’s a pleasure to call attention to books that I find useful such as yours. I wish there were more like it. I could imagine a series with this kind of format.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Best wishes,

      Andy

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