Recently a friend of Serenity’s (my wife) inquired if I would be willing to take a few family pictures. As much as I enjoy taking pictures, this is still out of my comfort zone. I don’t envy portrait photographers, there are many things that go into making a great family picture. For one, you need great lighting and no shadows. Second, you have to have your subjects position just right so that a proper exposure can be obtained. Last, trying to coordinate all subjects to look and smile at the camera all at the same time can be especially difficult when dealing with small kids.
The picture below was shot through the opening in the back of a chair. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but I think it’s what made the shot. It allowed for me to frame my subjects and also allowed for some candidness. As you can see, there was no issue in getting their attention.
Watching a new born grow is simply amazing. Our daughter as of yesterday is 10 weeks old. I can’t believe how fast it has went. In such a short time she has almost doubled her weight, grown more than 3 inches, and went from sleeping and staring into space, to someone who has a wonderful personality and enjoys to smile, giggle, and show her admiration for her parents (especially mom).
Today’s post is a continuation of my “Our Future” series. My wife was unsure if she would even cooperate for the pose. For the first time she was awake for the shot and clearly, didn’t have any problem posing for dad.
P.S. A friend of mine from San Diego, Elijah Nicolas has a blog (you can see it here) and recently posted a great commercial Google created promoting gmail. The commercial shows a father creating a gmail account for his newborn and writes to it frequently so that she can have a journal of her early years. Please watch below (it reminds me of what my wife and I are doing with taking frequent pictures).
Lately, with work I have not had much time to write or upload pictures to my blog. I’m not going to complain because I enjoy working and most of all enjoy helping others.
I don’t like taking “canned” pictures. I prefer when my subjects are not looking into the camera and focusing on whatever task at hand. Personally, I think this makes the moment much more memorable and can often allow the viewer to imagine what the subject is feeling or remind them of a similar time. Also, I enjoy capturing many of these moments in monochrome. Again, I think this adds a much more memorable, and long lasting touch.
Below is a picture of my beautiful wife and now 8 week old girl. You can see enjoyment in my wife’s eyes when looking down at her cherished little one. Even though you can’t see my daughters face, you can imagine that she is showing affection back to her mother. I think the monochrome and vignetting assist in this “real life” portrayal.
One of my first posts on this site was titled “Our Future”. Another photographer recommended trying to take the same picture monthly (eventually putting clothes on her) so that we can watch her grow. Definitely, at one month she has filled out, in comparison to her original pic. She has a lot of room to grow before she even comes close to filling the couch cushion, let alone the length of our couch.
Click on the picture to see a larger version and also see a comparison shot.
A couple years ago, we were visiting with my sister-in-law and family and I was randomly snapping pics. This was one of those random shots. It’s funny how sometimes at the most unexpected times, a great shot will appear.
A couple years ago my family and I drove to Vermilion, OH. It’s a small town that has a marina where the Vermilion River connects to Lake Erie. There are many local shops and restaurants (one of my favorite restaurants Chez Francois is located there) that bring tourists to the area. On the lake, there is a small lighthouse that is now a historical monument next to the Inland Seas Maritime Museum. My nephew was visiting from out of town and his mother thought this would be a good place to take some photographs. As you can see from the picture it was a beautiful day with low lying clouds. The museum sits to the southwest of the lighthouse and casted a shadow over the south side of it. There was a ledge that stuck out from the lighthouse about 3 feet above the ground. My nephew was able to stand on it while I shot from underneath him. I used a wide angle lens which allowed for me to capture the sky and entire lighthouse. Shooting people with wide angle lenses is not always good because of the distortion but in this case I thought it added a little drama to the scene.
If you’re not familiar with Leica, you probably are not aware that they are well known for shooting at low apertures and creating bokeh. Bokeh is the blur seen in photography or more specifically the quality of the blur. Each Leica lens is known for there unique bokeh. Yes, you will find this with almost all other cameras and lenses but many don’t have the quality seen in Leica lenses. I’ve shot with many Canon dSLR’s and low aperture lenses and have never been impressed as much as I am with the Leica m-mount lenses.
Yesterday, I was driving through South Whitley. It’s a typical small Indiana town with just a few downtown buildings. For a small town and historic looking downtown, it was busy with patrons at the local bars and restaurants. As I was making my way through town I came across a corner ice cream parlor. It definitely had a retro look and was a great picture opportunity. Maybe next time I’ll stop and get some food.
A week ago, my wife gave birth to our first child. She’s definitely a welcome addition to our family. I don’t shoot too many portraits and I’m still trying to learn more about lighting. I’ve been trying to come up with some creative shots of her and thought using our couch would be a great back drop because of the neutral colors. This shot demonstrates how much she has to grow and makes me realize that we have a long road ahead of us. We are definitely ready for the challenge.