This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
467. Of all subjects the photographer has to pose, none appear so awkward as boys and girls between the ages of seven and fourteen years. Usually subjects ranging between these ages are quite self-conscious when before the camera, so it requires tactics of an entirely different nature to interest them and obtain natural expressions. Children at this stage of life are at their most rapid growing period, and parents usually have pictures of them made at least once each year, as a record of their size at different ages. For that reason, children at this age frequently are photographed in standing positions.
468. Between the ages of from seven to fourteen years, girls generally wear dresses quite short and boys dress in knee pants. Being unmatured, these youthful subjects sometimes have rather ungainly limbs, and generally their feet are quite prominent. When the limbs are of fairly good form, standing figures are all right, and some restful, natural attitude other than placing them by a table or chair may be given them. The latter positions are very ordinary, stereotyped and lack interest. Therefore, positions free from accessories of any kind are best for standing figures, and also for subjects with poorly formed limbs.
469. Bow-legged children especially will appear best in a sitting position, either full or three-quarter length. Where a full length sitting position is given, have the feet crossed, thus bringing the limbs closer together, and arranged to obtain a side view; this will afford a more developed appearance. Boys or girls between the ages of twelve and fourteen generally make better pictures in two-thirds figure either sitting or standing; or, even bust pictures are appropriate for such subjects.
Important Considerations. Satisfactory pictures of juvenile subjects must be natural and simple in pose, and full of life. To these essential must be added some slight artistic interest, by eliminating unnecessary and irritating details of surroundings to enhance the value of the resulting portrait, and produce naturalness and simplicity. The successful photographer of juvenile portraits portrays his subjects in natural, graceful positions, with characteristic expression. In his pictures no artificial means are employed. He allows his subjects full swing, so that they feel perfectly natural, and by the introduction of suitable pieces of furniture of proper height makes it possible for them to assume natural and graceful positions, and to practically forget that they are being photographed.
Importance Of Accessory Arrangement. By placing any accessory in front of the subject the size of the figure is reduced, as the accessory being nearer the lens appears larger. By placing the accessory more to the rear the height of the image is increased. These are important points to be remembered, as they are utilized more or less with all subjects.