Posted on November 21, 2011
Saturday morning was a treat. I headed out to do a family mini-shoot on a beautiful blue-sky morning.
Upon arriving, I was greeted by Kristine, Jason and my new buddy, William, who also became known during the shoot as The Little Running Man (or Running Guy, if you prefer!). You will soon see why he got that moniker.
But first, I’ve got to tell you how much fun it was to work with such a great family. I was a little sorry that it was a mini-shoot as I could have filled several CF cards with photos of this comely trio. And two-year-old William was so excited to head outside and take pictures with Mommy & Daddy. Sometimes the munchkins are shy or reserved. Not my Little Running Man. Such an adorable cutie pie!
We started with some relaxed shots on the deck to get started.
It soon became clear that William thought the best way for me to capture his essence was for him to run, run, run, and dare both me and The Precious (my camera) to keep up. Clearly he didn’t know how ancient I am, despite being the mom of a 4-year-old! But hey, I gave it my best.
It was so cute!
When we moved to the side of the shed for the next set-up, William decided it was truly on like Teflon! He became the Little Running Man in earnest.
Just too much!
(I totally love this shot and would kill for someone to take our family picture and have us look as effortlessly gorgeous as this family does. Though this would involve a generous application of Photoshop’s editing, de-aging, de-rotunding properties in our case! )
A-ha, Mommy & Daddy, I have escaped your clutches and am now free to run again!
I did manage to get him to sit still for some amazing portraits. Oh the hair! The eyes! Watch out Jason & Kristine. He causes instant meltage of the heart.
Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with a little running man and his family? I just don’t think so.
Posted on November 17, 2011
This is a little lesson for all of us trying to balance the capturing of the moment with the antics of capricious children while avoiding turning our cameras back to auto mode.
It was a Tuesday in the summer. I had brought my camera with me to work because I knew that I’d be taking Z to Castle Park at the end of the day. I wanted to work on spot metering and getting my exposure nailed in camera since I had had a few snafus months before.
It had been ages since I had used my nifty-fifty lens (50mm 1.4G), so I had to get re-used to zooming with my feet, as it were. I shot what I could and what Z would allow, but then as we were leaving I saw this cool patterned crosswalk that I thought would look fabulous in a shot.
Now if I had a time-freeze button, I could have pushed it and taken the necessary time to scope out the best positioning and the best shooting angle in relation to the setting sun, other people, and the fact that it was a freaking cross walk that cars were crossing intermittently. But you can imagine that at the end of the day, with a cranky preschooler, I had no time-freeze button with which to avail myself.
It became a quick dance of positioning (No, Z I will not let any cars come near you, I swear!), framing, metering/focusing, and then pressing the shutter. This is what resulted:
Notice something besides the epic cuteness of my kid? Yeah, I screwed the pooch with the leading lines and the photos’ balance. It looks off, cockeyed, if you will.
Finally realizing that in all my quick prep I had failed to consider the overall balance, I moved my position a little and begged Z’s continued patience and captured this:
Ahh, now that’s a lot better for the eyes. Not so jarring. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better.
So this is a little reminder that you need to scan the scene fully before depressing the shutter, even in those I only have a second before my kid enters meltdown modes we often find ourselves shooting in. Your eyes will thank you!
Posted on November 11, 2011
One of the interesting things for me along my photographic journey has been the way that I’ve grown to love some of the artistic styles I’ve been exposed to during these past few years. Yet the beauty of the art, as we know, often lies in the eyes of the beholder. And what happens when your client doesn’t dig your artistic vision? Or worse yet, sees your vision as a technical flaw? That can be an interesting situation.
And have him say, “Why isn’t she centered?”
He doesn’t say that anymore.
But even today, I can show him an image I love, like this one:
and have him say, “But I can’t see her face!” I then I try to explain that I was going for something different, yadda, yadda. It soon becomes like the old adage you hear about telling jokes: if you have to explain it after you’re done, then it just wasn’t funny. If I need to explain what I was going for in the image, then either I didn’t succeed, or I just didn’t succeed with my husband.
Yet it brings us back to the point about clients. There was a great discussion on a photography board today about how your artsy style might not be liked or appreciated by the client. In the example given, a photographer shot a wedding. In addition to the standard shots, she captured one that was backlit and had sunflare and haze. It was lovely and technically perfect. Yet some acquaintance on her blog commented, “how can you show such an image on your blog?! It’s overexposed!”
Now there was a beautiful and stylistically perfect image being thought of as being a bad shot. Ouch!
This type of comment/attitude is definitely in my mind as I work to refine my style. I didn’t appreciate sunflare, hazy and backlit shots until I got more proficient in taking them (and it is tricky, indeed) and recognized the ethereal, airy quality they possess. Yet again, I am concerned about a client thinking, why does she have this hazy shot in my gallery?! That should have been one of the rejects!
During this phase, I’ve been offering both the “hazy/backlit” and the “normal” versions of some images.
I can recognize and appreciate both versions, though I am starting to lean toward haze and backlight when the light is glorious and yummy like it was in the shoot above. Yet I wouldn’t want those tykes’ parents to look at the hazy shots and say, WTH was she thinking? Doesn’t she know how to take a sharp picture?
I’m getting to become more comfortable with my style, but I know that some people might be left scratching their heads…like my dear husband who looked at my silhouettes and said, “Well isn’t she a bit underexposed in these?”
“Yes, my sweetie, deliberately.”
“Oh,” he began, “I guess I don’t get it.”
You just gotta love him.