One thing I’ve come to realize in taking pictures of people it helps if you actually know the person you are photographing. Sure, you can get decent pictures of almost anyone if the lighting and other mechanics are right. But the best pics come when you actually connect with your subject. And I’m not just talking about portraits – I find the same thing true when I take sports photos.
With kids in school I find myself hitting a lot of games with my camera. All the area schools pretty much know me now, and give me free run of the sports fields and gyms. Most of the kids know me too, as I share a lot of the photos I take on social media. I’ve seen many of them play various sports for several seasons now, and I know some of their personality. As a result I know the kind of abilities they have on the field, which ones are likely to have outbursts of emotion, and when I have the best chance of catching that special shot. I’ve also gotten to know which parents go with which kids, so when I see a particular kid make a great play – or get fouled – I know which adult to focus on in the crowd to get the best reaction shot.
Knowledge is power – power to get a great photo.