Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Children's portraits

It is always a fun challenge to photograph kids, as I'm sure any parents (and photographers) can attest to! A few weeks ago I was in Houston and had the opportunity to pop by a client's home to make some portraits of her boys in play in their element. I really do love this sort of photography as it is the sort that really capture memories in a place that both parents and kids will probably remember in varying levels.

As I mentioned though, there are challenges to this sort of portraiture... The first is of course the cornerstone of photography, light. When you go on location, especially to unknown ones, the lighting is a variable and that's a problem if you're not prepared. Thankfully I'm equipped with a lens that performs well in low light and also had some speedlights and lighting modifiers. The next challenge also affects everything, and that is the kids themselves. I'm guessing you already knew this but kids move. I'm not the sort that likes posing too much so moving the lights or swapping lenses quickly in time to catch that moment or two where light, expression, and reflexes all intersect is a workout!

These two young gentlemen were great though and while they did move, nearly constantly, we got some great shots. Still it amazed me how even in full midday sun that inside a home the light was still soft enough that in many locations I needed to use my speedlight and a softbox. Our eyes really are amazing in how they collect and process light in that what is a perfectly bright room to the eye is still stretching a camera's limits.

Another cool project came out of this shoot too, invitations to one of the boy's birthday party! I've designed some birthday and Christmas cards as well as a senior's graduation announcement so this wasn't completely new and I knew what to do. His mother had a couple design ideas that she liked different elements of so I created a mash up of the two with images from the session on a 5x7" flat card. The cool thing about these sorts of cards is that you have a large image or image collage on the back that doesn't have to be themed or have writing on it. That turns it into a gift memento as well as the practical invite or announcement.

If you'd like something similar done, now's the time to start planning it. Christmas is only 3 months away and I'm planning on having a session/card special ready soon!

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