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July 6th, 2005

Book Review: The Art of Photographing Children

by Terry Lucas

If you have children, you probably have shoeboxes full of photographs. If you are like me, many of those photographs either show children posing stiffly in front of beautiful scenes or are so blurry that you cannot tell which image is your child and which is the cat. A new book is here to help us: The Art of Photographing Children by Cheryl Machat Dorskind published by Watson-Gupthill Publications.

Cheryl Machat Dorskind is a longtime resident of Westhampton Beach, New York. She is a fine arts photographer and is well known for her hand-painted photographs. Ms. Dorskind has taught at Suffolk Community College, Long Island University and the Maine Photographic Workshops.

The Art of Photographing Children begins with a history of photography and children’s place in it. The book moves on to discuss technique, lighting and composition. These technical issues are discussed in clear and straight forward language, making it easy for an aspiring photographer to understand. Ms. Dorskind also includes a chapter on photographing children of different ages. Techniques that may work for a five-year-old must definitely be modified for an older child. A section on conducting a successful photo shoot gives several examples of different types of photo shoots and discusses the effect of location, weather, wardrobe and time of day. The book concludes with a photo gallery featuring the work of several contemporary photographers who specialize in photographing children. Although a section on handpainting photographs is included, if you are interested in a more detailed discussion of this topic, Ms. Dorksind’s earlier book, The Art of Handpainting Photographs extensively covers this subject.

This book is filled with beautiful examples of the author’s photographs. If you are a resident of the Westhampton area you will definitely recognize some of the faces in the book. The Art of Photographing Children is accessible enough for parents, yet is full of information that is useful for any aspiring children’s photographer. Summer is here, so read the book, take out your camera, forget the word “cheese,” and take some pictures of those children before they move out.

Editor’s?Ǭ Note: Terry Lucas is the owner of The Open Book in Westhampton Beach, New York. She displays Ms. Dorskind’s work in the bookstore and often leaves a copy of The Art of Photographing Children open to page 98, to show off a photograph of her two daughters.

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | the Hamptons

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