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.
Lighting. When lighting juvenile subjects, whether full-length, two-thirds or bust pictures, it is advisable to apply either the Plain Portrait or Schriever style of lighting. For some subjects Shadow or Rembrandt Lighting gives better results; but in the majority of cases, Plain Broad Lighting will result in more universal satisfaction. Use a volume of light as great as possible. This will permit working with more rapid exposure. While it may not always be necessary to employ the diffusing screen between the light and the subject, unless it is employed you will not obtain an even illumination over the subject. Working under a flood of light stronger at the floor, the lower portion of the subject is more strongly illuminated than the face; while if the diffusing screen - which intersects this flood of light - is used, the face will receive the full amount of illumination. By drawing the curtains on the lower portion of the screen, the light on the lower portion of the subject is diffused, giving a more gradual blending from the face to the feet, and directing the interest toward the face.
Use Of Reflecting Screen. Make free use of the reflecting screen for juvenile portraits. While it is used in exactly the same manner as for adults even more care must be taken regarding the angle adopted, for the reason that the complexion of children is, as a rule, not as dark as that of older subjects. If the light is reflected too much from the shadow side, the shadows become clogged, affecting the roundness of the face-a very important consideration. For these reasons, use the screen at a greater angle to the source of light, to throw more light on the front than the side of the face.
Height Of The Camera. The height of the camera is governed entirely by the height and style of the subject, because by raising or lowering the position of the camera, the appearance of the subject is increased or diminished with reference to size. The camera in a lofty position shortens the effect of the subject's stature, and from a low position the height is increased. By adjusting the camera about two-thirds the height of the subject, a normal position is secured. For bust portraits the camera should be placed so that the lens is on a level with the chin of the subject.
Balancing The Image On The Ground-Glass. When locating the image of a bust portrait on the ground-glass, always locate the chin above the center of the plate, never below. To place the chin below the center of the plate will give the portrait an unbalanced appearance. For two-thirds or full-length figures, never allow less than an inch space above the head. Crowding the head on the top of the plate always gives a top-heavy appearance, while with the figure too low on the plate a squatty appearance is the result. Either extreme gives poor balance to the picture.