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Photographing a Shy Child ~ How to Get Them To Interact


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How you ever had to take pictures of a shy child? This little girl, Isabel, was just adorable.  Who would believe she was super shy? She was…

Photographing a shy child can be a challenge.  Having props, tools, and a gift for conversation, can help get a shy child to open up.

So in this Blueprint I will explain, not only the post processing of one of the shots but how I got her talking and jumping.

When she arrived, she wanted to cling to her mom. So with a few props I got her to open up for a few minutes in order to grab some fun shots.  It started with a reflector and peek-a-boo.  She seemed to love this.  I hid behind the reflector then would come out and get her laughing. Eventually I had the camera ready to shoot as I came out from behind the reflector.

Next prop – an umbrella. As shown below. As you can see – this got her interacting (as she then played peek-a-boo with me).  The hard part was focusing at an aperture of 2.0 or so while having 2 seconds to get the shot.  She would lift the umbrella up to reveal her face and then right back down.  I had to be fast.

umbrella-thumb Photographing a Shy Child ~ How to Get Them To Interact Blueprints Photography Tips Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

Once she warmed up, she would give me a minute before she would decide getting in pictures was not on her agenda for the day. But even in these small windows of time, I was able to act fast and get some sweet shots.  She looks like such a little princess in these. The black and whites were processed 1st in color using MCP Complete Workflow’s Peek-a-Boo and then Color Burst.  Then I used MCP Quickie Collection’s Vanilla Ice Cream, which is my “go to” black and white action.

isabelbw-thumb Photographing a Shy Child ~ How to Get Them To Interact Blueprints Photography Tips Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

At the end of this brief photo shoot, I tried one more time to get Isabel interacting, and dared this pretty 3 year old to jump as high as she could. Now I know it looks like she did a great job.  And she did.  But part of what happened was “behind the scenes.” I told her I would take the pictures not looking.  So I set my camera to all focus points, put the camera on the ground angled slightly up, asked her to jump, and fired away. Then each time, I would have her come over and see the shots.  After 3 tries, I got her from this great perspective, in focus. YAY!

Now for the blueprint part…

For processing this shot:

– Step 1: Ran the MCP Complete Workflow’s Peek-a-Boo to brighten up the shadow areas of the photo as well as her skin (she was very tan)

– Step 2: Ran MCP Complete Workflow’s Color Burst.  This is the action I use on the majority of my pictures. It adds contrast and color pop without messing with skin tones.

– Step 3: Speaking of skin tones, her skin was a little yellow/orange mainly from her tan.  But I wanted to brighten it up and fix the colors.  I used MCP Touch of Light.  This Photoshop action is free on my site. I painted the light on her face and skin with a 30% opacity brush.  Then I used the accompanying Touch of Darkness on the background to make the colors a tad richer.

– Step 4: Fix skin color…  I used curves to color correct.  This method is taught in my Color Fixing Workshop. In case you are familiar with it, I got my numbers in check by reducing red (adding cyan), and adding blue (reducing yellow). I used the masks to have this effect certain areas more than others so it was not applied globally.

– Step 5: Retouching – hard to see here, but she had what I believe was stitches above her left eye (so our right).  I used the clone and patch tool to get rid of that.

– Step 6: Ran MCP Eye Doctor to just add a little spark to her eyes – and enhance the catch lights.

– Step 7: Put in MCP Magic Blog It Board to show you and sharpened for web.

jumpforjoy-thumb Photographing a Shy Child ~ How to Get Them To Interact Blueprints Photography Tips Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials


No Comments

  1. Mary on August 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    WOW!!!! Jodi– I MUST take your color fixing classes!!!!!

  2. Crystal on August 14, 2009 at 11:03 am

    FANTASTIC play Silvina! You did an amazing job!

  3. Serena Thomas on August 14, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Phenomenal recovery!! Good reminder to really look at our photos before scrapping them.

  4. danielle on August 14, 2009 at 11:17 am

    wow! awesome save!

  5. Penny on August 14, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Beautiful! I just bought Jodi’s actions and can’t wait to apply then.

  6. Terry Lee on August 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    This is very helpful…thank you for sharing. I have taken the workshop and I love seeing what others do with it. Cute shot…love how you edited it. Jodi’s magic touch strikes again!

  7. Michelle on August 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    AMAZING! Totally saved this precious photo!

  8. Silvina on August 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I learned a ton from Jodi, her classes are awesome!

  9. bernina 820 review on August 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Truly, it is remarkable what a little editing can do. I’ll be honest, before I scrolled down and realized there was a second photo, I wondered why you had posted it there–it wasn’t anything special. But after the editing, it’s a real beautiful photo.

  10. Pam on August 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm


  11. Trude Ellingsen on August 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Great editing! I think I need to add MCP classes to my wish list. 🙂

  12. Monica on August 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Wow! I love it!

  13. Debbie on August 14, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Awesome, unbeloveable recovery……I’ve got to take some of Jodi’s classes.

  14. Jeannette Chirinos Gold on August 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    awesomegreat pp’ing

  15. Heather Price........vanilla moon on August 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    That is an awesome edit,i really want some (no all) of jodi’s actions,will need to save a bit though.

  16. Life with Kaishon on August 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Wow. What a difference. Very fantastic. LOVE it : )

  17. ONLINE PAYDAY LOAN on September 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    awsome blue print. thanks for sharing.

  18. kari on August 12, 2011 at 9:17 am

    What a difference! The end product is gorgeous!

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