For a while now I've been developing my skills in landscape photography. I love it, it inspires me and if I can occasionally capture just a glimpse of the stunning vistas before me then I consider it a success.
Photographing people however scares me to death.. With landscapes there is no need to pose anything or "create" the shot, no need to hush a crying child or figure out how to get him to laugh, no need to chase anyone around or get them to sit sit for just a moment. I just find the view points that fascinate me and start shooting, and shoot and shoot for hours on end. Landscapes are forgiving, they will never be disappointed if I don't get a good shot and never complain when I return over and over to keep trying
I can't tell you how many times I've photographed this barn on Perry Park Road. I only know that it's been a lot, every season, different times of day etc. It was even a subject for me this morning as I tried to capture some fall color round the red.
But if I expect to call myself a photographer and really mean it then I need to learn. Time to pull up my big girl pants and get over my fears.. So, I put out the call for volunteers ..neighbors, co-workers, friends and friends of friends to sit for portraits.
In steps the Martin Family...
This beautiful family contacts me feeling a bit guilty, as we as moms all do, that they had gads of photos of their first child, a bunch of their second and hardly any of their youngest. They should know that this is not uncommon and it happens to the best of us. It was decided then that 17 month old Baby Hadley would be our focus.
The day before our shoot, Mom called a bit concerned that H had an ear infection, something neither of the boys had ever gone through. While their pediatrician assured her that with antibiotics and Advil/Motrin sweet Hdley would be feeling good in no time, she was skeptical. I let her know that in my experience, both my boys had a habit of getting ear infections, her doctor was spot on, but let’s just see how they are feeling the next day.
Saturday afternoon comes and it seems everyone is feeling OK so we meet on the pretty quiet back side of one of our neighborhood pretty parks. I was nervous but feeling pretty confident that I had prepared myself fairly well.
What a great family!!! I am, very quickly, feeling much more at ease just because they make it so easy to be around them. That said, I can tell that while the baby is feeling a bit better, no one is feeling their best, runny noses everywhere and even poor dad has glazed eyes.
So we ran around chasing the kids, tried to put H down, bribed them to sit and smile for just a minute, all at the same time, and did an awful lot of laughing.
So.... what did I learn?
1) That I need to watch my composition... Most of the portraits I've done to date have been headshots and I kept cutting the legs off of this wonderful family.
2) I need to learn how to position and pose. Setting up 5 people for a family shot where legs are everywhere doesn't come across very well in a photo.
3) I really been practicing an eye for light and how it transforms your subject, in a landscape. Light on people is much more difficult. Dappled light in a forest can be stunning, not so much across the faces of a family.
4) I need to learn to control the shoot, from beginning to end.
5) 'Cheese Its' can be PhotoShopped out of a child's mouth with moderate to fair success.
In the end I did get some sweet close ups of the kids but really didn't get suitable family shots. I've offered to shoot them again and am happy to report that they have happily agreed to
be victims sit for me once again!
Thank you Martin Family for allowing me to get to know you all while I kept poking my camera in your faces.