Black backdrop for a black belt

I rarely use anything other than a plain white backdrop for children but it worked quite well for my niece’s karate session.

A plain white backing is light hearted and bright, drawing the viewers eyes to the subject and can sometimes create great contrast. I tend to only use dark blues and blacks for corporate shots or images requiring a formal look.

I had considered that with my niece’s karate gi being white the probability of it being lost was pretty high. Adjusting the backdrop to a shade of grey wouldn’t give the image the striking impact I wanted. Black not only provided the drama but from an artistic perspective allowed the achievement of a dan grade to flow from the belt throughout the portrait.

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The percentage of black in the frame, the stance and the serious expression completely represents how seriously my niece takes her martial arts.

She takes it seriously but has a lot of fun too!

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The Portrait of a Pug

Dogs should be easy to photograph because they’re so obedient, right?… Not if you’re photographing a pug!

I had never photographed my two pugs on set before and thought ‘I’ve got a free hour or two, why not?’

Betty and Daisy are four years old, sisters and very excitable. It took me at least ten minutes to calm them down once they saw the photo set. Easily excitable I know…or they just realised their opportunity to be mischievous!!

‘Lazy Daisy’ didn’t take long to calm down. She is a fawn pug, as wide as she is tall and when she finds a comfy spot that’s it, it’s hers. You just then have a struggle getting her to move at all. Luckily for me she chose a spot right in the centre of the backdrop.

The only difficulty was making her smile for the camera!  This is her happy face by the way 🙂

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Getting both Betty and Daisy to sit together on set and wait patiently was a challenge. If they’re not snuffling for crumbs they’re wrestling! So that’s where some bribery came in useful. I packed my pocket with little biscuit treats and waited for their attention. It’s amazing what a pug will do for food.

Once they settled I shifted them around slightly into the best position. They might be small dogs but my goodness they carry some weight. I told them to ‘sleep’ and they put their heads down, I kept my fingers crossed and they stayed like that until I’d taken a few shots.

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I must admit they did really well for their first shoot and I was really pleased. Now I just need to find the energy for their second photo session.  I’ll keep you posted.

Catherine Dawn Photography – About me

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a love for art and photography, however almost twenty years ago I chose accountancy as my career path. The Corporate world became my life and I just about managed to squeeze in ‘normal’ every day things like relationships and time with family and friends. I’m sad to say my passion for art took a back seat.

Since having my son in December 2013 I began to rekindle my relationship with a camera. I bought myself a DSLR and began to take advantage of my little, perfect muse! I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to capture our life whilst learning new techniques and most importantly having lots of fun along the way.

I finally decided to see where an adventure in photography would lead. I chose to specialise in family photography because of it’s importance in capturing life and preserving those special moments for us all to cherish…..not to mention little people are so much fun to spend time with!

Let the adventure begin!