Knees or even your tummy

Many of the action photography tips you learned at the beginning of this chapter are great for kid photos, too. Highlights include:

• Be prepared. Rule Number One for capturing great kid pictures is to have your camera handy at all times, charged and with memory card space to spare. Great kid shots come and go in the blink of an eye. Parents don't have the luxury of keeping their equipment snugly stowed away in a camera bag in the closet.

• Get down there. The best kid shots are generally photographed at kid level, and that means getting low. (Flip screens are particularly useful for kid shots, because they let you position the camera down low without actually having to lie on the ground.)

• Get close. Your shots have much more impact when the subject fills the frame. The less excess space you shoot, the less you'll have to crop out later.

• Prefocus. Shutter lag will make you miss the shot every time. In many cases, you can defeat it by prefocusingthat is, half-pressing the shutter button when the kid's not doing anything special. Keep your finger on the button until the magical smile appears, and then press fully to snap the shot.

• Burst away. Use your camera's burst mode to fire off several shots in quick succession (Figure 3-13). Given the fleeting nature of many kids' grins, this trick improves your odds of catching just the right moment.

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