I’ve recently been experimenting by viewing my subjects from different angles to create an alternative perspective.
In this weeks maternity session I captured the baby bump from above and it proved to be a great success. Definitely one I’d create again. With feet slightly out of focus the bump demands immediate attention.
A maternity session is all about the bump after all so why not make it the feature of the image?!
While trying to achieve this perspective I realised a small step ladder just wasn’t going to give me the height I needed. Luckily I had a large A-frame ladder to hand. Whilst perched precariously at the top of the ladder, on one leg, carrying a heavy camera I considered investing in some crash mats for future shoots!
A week before Father’s Day I started to think of some ideas for a photo session for my son.
I thought about finding an item of my husband’s clothing for my son to wear. A tie was the perfect size, it worked pretty well and he enjoyed playing with it during the shoot so that kept him entertained. I chose this tie as there’s some history behind it. It’s my husband’s Vincent’s Club tie so I was sure he’d love an image of our son wearing it.
I just love panoramics and have used them on a few occasions. The rule of thirds doesn’t quite apply here but the panoramic is a clear favourite of mine.
I rarely use a black backdrop for young children but I took some time to experiment and see how effective it could be. I had the time available and then quickly hid all the evidence before my husband came home. I was surprisingly pleased with the results however I wouldn’t use such a dark background for clients as they tend to want something more vibrant and lively.
There were no distracting clothes, patterns or colours and the most important aspects were highlighted, my son and the tie’s motifs.
I loved these images so much I couldn’t resist showing my husband that evening. I’m just useless at surprises. I had to come up with another idea and quickly.
In my treasure trove of props I had some wooden letters to spell ‘dad’. I had planned to stand the letters in front of him but they kept falling over. To overcome this I had him hold each letter and then merge the three images together. The letters kept him occupied which was perfect at keeping him in one place.
I realised that a special, meaningful image for a parent can be for any day of the year, not just Mother or Father’s Day.
We’ve all seen those ‘arty’ black and white images with an item remaining in vibrant colour, haven’t we? Well I wanted to experiment and learn how to do it and just had to think of an image on which it would work. Then I thought of my nieces and their array of coloured karate belts.
I hadn’t considered that the older of the two nieces is a black belt and asking her to demote herself by wearing a coloured belt would result in laughter and a very final ‘no’. The younger of the two it is then.
I borrowed the younger niece for half an hour for some quick images which I could play around with. She wore her yellow belt with pride and this was the result.
Not only did I achieve the look I wanted but I got a smiley face too, whoop!
I experimented with the image in Photoshop without researching the other possible methods beforehand. I took the original coloured image, placed a black and white layer over the top and used the background eraser tool to reveal the colour on the layer below. All pretty simple and effective.
The only element of the photo shoot I would change next time would be to use a continuous white backdrop. A plain white backdrop and floor would certainly prevent any distraction from the subject. Lesson learned.
If I was going to put this passion into practice I had better start practicing and build a portfolio along the way.
My little man is my muse, my model and so much more but there’s only so many images of him I could use. I needed different faces. I needed different ages. I needed volunteers! I was astounded by how many parents were interested in volunteering their children for an hour or so in return for a free set of images. I scheduled as many photo sessions as I could, leaped onto that steep learning curve and haven’t looked back.
The very first session was full of challenges and enough to make me question my new adventure. I spent the journey home thinking ‘What on earth am I doing? I’m an accountant. Just stick to what you know’. But looking at the positives I enjoyed every minute of it, the children and the parents were lovely and I took away ideas to prevent some of the hiccups from happening again.
On to the next session wiser, more prepared…and with a wipe clean backdrop.
This week has been an absolute dream. I’ve had two gorgeous girls in for photo sessions and they had amazing wardrobes.
On the morning of the photo sessions I squeezed as many props and accessories into the car as possible only to realise the mums were just as excited as me and had already organised a collection of outfits with matching hairbands, tights and shoes. It’s fantastic having such involved mums and even better when they co-ordinate and accessorize well.
The sessions resulted in images with hues of pink and purple, lots of fun and a great insight into the world of daughters.
This image sums up one of the sessions so well. An absolute angel in bunny ears and a feather boa. She enjoyed every minute in front of the camera and took the photo shoot in her stride. A model in the making.
As I packed up my kit and left a trail of feathers and sparkle behind me I looked forward to my next session.