Megan Maher, left, and her teammate laugh while taking a break during the Northern Westchester Swim Conference swim meet in Chappaqua, N. Y. (© Michael Maher).
My daughter Megan was so busy concentrating and having fun when she was participating in sports, she rarely noticed when I pointed the camera at her. At this swim meet, while waiting her turn to participate, she and a teammate were laying by the pool watching the races, when another swimmer started goofing around to make them laugh. This went on for several minutes, and I managed to photograph several expressions of Megan laughing with her teammate, but this was the best. One key to taking kid photos is getting them to ignore the presence of the camera. Fortunately, none of them -- Megan, her friend, other team members -- paid much attention to me, so I could concentrate solely on finding a great photo. If you station yourself in one place, and wait a few minutes, kids will typically start ignoring you. Megan also had a brief moment of fame when this was published in the local newspaper.
1) Kids frequently show a wide range of expressions and emotions when doing even simple things like watching their friends.
2) Stand back with a medium or longer lens so the kids concentrate on what they are doing, and not you.
3) If you stay in one place and wait patiently, kids will get used to your presence, ignore the camera, and you can take spontaneous photos.