In a previous post, called Fujifilm X100s and Photographing Children, I talked about engaging children in a static zone to help nail focus and generally control what they are doing, yet provide a spontaneous look. Here’s another example, this time deliberately less spontaneous, and rather fixed looking.
The point this time, visually, was to create a composition that is balanced and interesting and also one that invites speculation. In this case, through oddness. By inviting some ‘oddity’ speculation, the viewer is (hopefully) engaged. It’s kinda like they will (again, hopefully) ask “What’s going on here?”*
Technically, the point this time is the same. Engage the child so they stand still.
Also, what you can’t see here is that I’m sitting down. My leg is extended and the ball of my foot and my toes are pinning the subject’s feet to the spot (softly, in stockinged feet). You need to tell them what you are doing and why. Kids get it, but they need the help. This is another good trick to keep children in one place. You can also put a ruler or something similar on the ground and have them curl their toes over it.
* a lot can depend on the viewer here – some will just go ‘That’s weird, I don’t get it. What’s the lemon (or whatever) for?’ etc. To which you can reply “Exactly” and then tell them to Google Albrecht Dürer so they get even more befuddled.