Kim Terry from the GAP Tells for the First Time - Why One Cute Kids Photo Stands Out from Another and How GAP Decides to Short List the Entries?
Kim Terry has personally reviewed over 3 million photos since Gap’s Casting Call began. She Says That the GAP has never Before revealed the criteria for choosing their cute GAP kids until now and the insights are enlightening. These Simple tips are not just for casting calls (she says) but they show how to take the best Photo for any online contest involving your cute kids.
This years GAP Look is all about denim, but don’t go out and buy up a whole lot of denim, this will not influence their decision at all. She Says to “Use what you already have at home, maybe just a cute t-shirt and jeans”.
Clothing Do’s and Don’ts
1. Keep it Simple
This applies to just about any portrait you take of your children, whether it’s for an online contest or just for your photo album at home. No BOLD or busy patterns, not too many colors or anything too fancy. You Don’t want to pull attention away from your adorable little ones or distract from THEIR personalities. Choose colors that complement your child’s eyes, hair or skin tone, and remember, you can’t go wrong with neutral colors. Kim says that she “Likes pairing neutrals, like Jeans and a black sweater with a bright top for a POP of color”.
The same goes for the background, keep it as uniform and simple as you can. Elaborate backdrops and backgrounds only serve to take attention away from the main star – Your Child and focus attention elsewhere. Make sure there is no doubt who or what you are featuring. Bring out the best features of your innocent child’s demeanor and cute personality by focusing on them. Simple backgrounds like grass, a brick wall or the sky will do nicely.
What about props? Absolutely. A favorite blanket or special toy they like is cool and only ads to the natural look and feel of the photo and your kids will be happier and less “self aware” during the shoot. No sunglasses, hats or big bows. While these might be adorable in real life, they can be very distracting in a photo.
Is There a Right Time And Place to Take Photos?
Try and use natural settings when you can. Natural light (sunlight ) is much more flattering and tends to bring out the natural hues and true colors and skin tones. Try not to shoot with the sun at your back. This may produce the best light angle but you don’t want to blind your kids and make them sweat. Find an angle that works and make compensations within your camera settings to achieve the optimal results.
A Happy Child is Much More Photogenic!
Don’t forget to make sure your kids are well rested and well fed before you start your shoot. A happy kid takes a better photo. Keep snacks and drinks handy during your shoot and keep the mood fun and light. Don’t be a task master! You cannot force a “Great Shot” on a schedule with young children. You may have to do this a few times to get the right shot. You will find that the best shots are more often than not, the candid almost accidental shots. Keep it light and happy.
Framing Your Photo
Two words you must remember when taking pictures of your kids for online photo contests is “GET CLOSE”. If you look at any of Gap Kids or Gap Kids marketing, faces are the heroes of the photos. So make sure your little ones face is well lit and clearly visible. If they are too far away, they will get lost in the background. Gap also spends a lot of time on their hands and knees ( Child Level ) trying to get the best shot. Crawl around at their level and see the world from their perspective, their eye level. Don’t stand over them! You could even hold the camera below your face so you can maintain eye contact and keep them engaged and connected to you.
Positioning and Personality
Once you have them positioned, what is the best way for you to get them to show their personality? Remember… don’t force it and be patient. Poses and stiff smile don’t really come across well. Take your time and follow them around. Kim says “One trick we use in the studio, is to tell them you are just taking some test shots or practicing, they’ll never know you’re shooting for real and they’ll be much more relaxed”.
You are going to take a lot of shots, way more than you’ll ever need, but somewhere in that collection you’ll find that perfect shot and all your efforts will have been worth it. Once you do, Gap is going to want to see it and it will also be worthy of entry into “The Cute Kid Contest”
To Enter that perfect child Photo to the Gap, go to: Http://www.gap.com/castingcall
Winner announced – July 30, 2012
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