Friday, March 3, 2017

Get Picture Perfect Photos of Babies and Children with Expert Tips from These 6 Resources

We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of our newest family member next week. Our son and his fiancée have been given a date of March 9 for her doctor to urge the little one along and I'm already excited for that new baby smell and plenty of cuddles.

I'm actually going to have a lot of Grandma time around then. A few days after the birth,  my daughter's two little ones are coming to visit and my husband and I plan to take them to meet their tiny little cousin. As you can well imagine, I'm already thinking of the photo ops.

Taking pictures of tots, whether they're newborns, toddlers or preschoolers can be a daunting task. In all their adorableness they are suitably photogenic.  Yet, they do present some special challenges.

Infants are often easiest because they tend to sleep. A lot. They enjoy being held so posing someone else while they hold the baby is usually quite simple. 

Never forget, however, that every moment of this photo shoot is dictated by the baby's needs and when infants aren't happy everyone knows. Besides the time spent getting the pliable darlings into all kinds of precious poses, there will also be diaper calls, wardrobe changes and snack breaks galore.

The real fun, though, comes with toddlers and preschoolers. They fidget, they squirm. They clearly aren't interested in following instructions. Their mood can swing to extremes minute by minute. Distraction is a given.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, co-operation with children under five is rare.  Spying them in a picture-perfect situation and sneaking up on them before they move on is often the best chance for success. Once they notice the camera, anything could happen. They rarely stop in one place for more than seconds at a time as fascination with everything beckons. Or they will decide to be perfect hams, voguing for the camera. Until, like the flip of a switch, they decide they're done. Trying to convince them otherwise can be a scary prospect.

As for trying to pose them ... well, that's always entertaining.

Yet, when all the hassles are over there's no question that young children are one of the most beautiful photography subjects and worth the spit up, poop and tears.  My grandchildren range in age from 17 to the not-quite-here-yet. While the eldest is less interested in being one of my photography subjects now having more than paid his dues over the years,  his cousins, all under the age of five, have come to expect the focussing of my camera lens on them. Often. How could I possibly resist any chance to capture those giggles and grins, their wide-eyed wonder and delightful personalities?

So next weekend should be fun. On the one hand I have three beautiful subjects. On the other, getting them all into a shot isn't going to be easy. When it happens, let's not forget there's still the technical stuff to work on too. It can all be a bit overwhelming for an amateur shutterbug.

Rather than hope for the best then, I've decided to do a little homework.  The thought of getting a great picture of two of my beautiful grandchildren with a lovely newborn one is worth it.  Here are seven sites that I found to be quite informative:

4 Tips for Connecting and Photographing Kids More Naturally

Photographing Tots and Toddlers

5 Tough Love Tips for Photographing Toddlers

Photographing Toddlers and Getting Them to Sit Still

10 Tips for Photographing Toddlers

6 Tips for Photographing Newborns With Siblings

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Create Fantastic Digital Worksheets and Presentations with an iCLIPART.com Pro Subscription

Every day, our children's minds are given into the care of educators whom we hope will not just teach them but inspire in them the desire to learn as well. 

Since children are uniquely different, from the tip of their toes to the top of the head, in personality and intelligence,  a one-size-fits-all style of teaching is far from effective. Finding a way to rouse students from intellectual lethargy and ensure they understand the lesson, is only half of the monumental task facing educators. It's also important they stay interested and are eager to absorb more and more information.

To do so, it's imperative that teachers find creative ways to reach those young minds,  using not just words but worksheets, assignments and lesson plans designed to stimulate. 

My two eldest kids are educators, albeit at distinctly different levels. One is working to mould the minds of middle school students, while the other is an ECE in a junior kindergarten program.  Though the approach is obviously different, the starting point is essentially the same. Whatever tools are used can enhance the experience for the students, as well as for the teacher.

I know the amount of time my son and daughter spend trying to achieve this balance. Fortunately, they're both still young enough and enthusiastic enough that they have fun devising a lot of their own materials. But what happens when the well of imagination and creativity runs dry? Or quite simply when a teacher runs out of time to prepare a lesson plan?

Fortunately, there are wonderful online resources to help out. The most well-known is TeachersPayTeachers from which educators can sell and buy lessons, printables, worksheets, etc. There are categories for all grades, as well as for homeschoolers, higher learning and adult students,  and the site offers a variety of subjects and budgets. To learn more you might want to check out this blog from EdSurge

TPT isn't the only option, however. You can take a look at some others here:

TeacherLingo
Teacher's Notebook
• BuySellTeach
• educents

While these are excellent resources for teachers looking for a little support, it's also important to note that many of these sites have created, in some cases, a lucrative second income for those interested in sharing their materials with others.  According to information from EdSurgeNews teachers "have earned more than $175 million of materials on TPT since it's launch in 2006." Given that this blog was written in 2015, one can only assume that number as grown.

Regardless of who's creating the tools for learning, they all will need good graphics. Captivating and appropriate images are a necessity for teachers' classroom materials. Here again there are options to be found online, including the fantastic, diverse content on  iCLIPART.com . What's also exciting about this website is that it offers a Professional subscription for anyone interested in creating digital worksheets, documents or presentations intended for multiple distribution.  It's perfect, therefore, for people involved in the creation of online educational materials.

The subscription price is $295 for one year. However, currently anyone looking for this type of usage can ask to receive a discount coupon code by contacting bizdev@vitalimagery.com