Child Photography, an Element of Luck Required?

I had the opportunity to photograph one of my girlfriends grandchildren recently.  I set up a black background in the spare room as I like dark and moody.  I utilized a Nikon D200 and an 85mm F1.4 at F8/125th second.  For lighting I used an Alien Bee 800 with a 22 inch beauty dish with a sock on it, and an SB900 camera left with a David Hobby serial box snoot.

The Alien Bee was set at 32nd power and the SB900 at 1/2 power.  I wanted to turn it into a good long session and really play around with lighting, he had other plans however.  I could not hold his attention no matter what I tried.  I managed to get a two minute session done in the morning and a session about the same length in the afternoon.  This shot, while he looks like he’s about to go postal he’s actually engaged in thought as I was trying to delay the inevitable end of the short session by saying something like “What else do you see in the room that’s green?”  I have hit or miss luck with her grandchildren, sometimes they’re great and are a joy to shoot other times it just ain’t happening.  I’m sure there are many photographers that specialize in child photography that can attest to that.

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