29 October 2011

The "A" family

I was able to have the chance to photograph our friends, the A family, around the school campus. They were super flexible with a rainy day and we just ran up to the University for about thirty minutes.
I think this was my first chance to photograph a couple by themselves and I was challenged to think of unique poses that aren't awkward - and then to find a way to communicate my ideas to them. I had done a bit of research before the shoot, though and we tried a few of those poses.

I'm glad we know each other and they were really patient with me -
Here are my favourites for your enjoyment!
As always, any constructive criticism is truly and readily welcomed!

I think this is my favorite one:
I love the colors and the playfulness -
I think it captures some of their great personalities!

27 October 2011

Super Excited

I have 3 - yes 3! - families to photograph this weekend and another the following weekend.
I am super excited and hope the rain holds off - although a light dusting of snow might be just the thing...

Here are a few of my favorite pictures I've stumbled across this week for inspiration.

(none of the following images are mine.)

HERE is a gorgeous photo - we've had nice light like this since the days are getting shorter...

Okay - that's enough for now.

I'm excited about practicing my new goal: catchlight in the eyes.
Remember when you were just learning to draw characters better than stick figures? Everytime you drew their eyes, or when you drew balloons, there's a little rounded rectangle in the circle to show where the light is reflected? that's the "catchlight." 
I was looking through an article recently that was demonstrating the difference and power of having the catchlight in the subject's eyes. (This isn't the one I read, I can't find it, but it helps if you're still wondering what I'm talking about.)
For instance, in that last picture up there, with the family on the blankets, even though the boy with the blonde hair isn't in a central position, (in fact, I definitely would have tried to crop this a little differently, but anyway), he was the first of the 4 to catch my focus and I'm pretty sure it's because of that gleam in his eye!

One more day, then hoping for a little sunshine!

18 October 2011

The Sun Came Out!

Speaking of the L family that I photographed last week - the more I look at these photos, the happier I am with them.
The major problem I had was sunshine. Since, being in Scotland, we don't normally have sun, I always think that the photo would be better with sun. Now I'm realizing, that actually, I need to just learn how to work with what we've got! The sun has problems of it's own! Mainly, the glowing white shirts and sweaty faces!

The kids loved the sunshine, though, and in between being still they did a little of this:

but sometimes it worked:
sometimes it scared the little one:

but it was loads of fun!

I've read up on on posing in the sunlight and am looking forward to tomorrow when I get to try again with the B family! There's supposed to be some sunshine again tomorrow and I'm so glad to get the chance to try again!

The sunshine wasn't all bad, though - I LOVE the light on this next one - it was towards the end of the photo shoot when I had finally figured out where they should stand and which direction they should face.
One time I read that they should face directly into the sun because it makes the eyes brighter and shadows fewer - but I think in a park this size, there's definitely different types of "direct sun" and we'll search for the filtered sun next time.

17 October 2011


I just loved this shot from the park:

This was taken with the 14-42mm set at:
1/80s at f/5.6
iso 200

Suggestions about what settings you would use for this kind of shot would be so helpful -
this was kind of a pleasant surprise and not an intentional, thought out process!

16 October 2011

Photography: art or craft?

I love that moment when you see a good painting and wonder... is it a photograph? Or when you see a gorgeous photo and stop and stare and wonder... is it really a painting? I love the blurry line between capturing with your own hand and capturing with the camera. How can we really know which one is "art" and which one is "craft". That is something I love to turn over and over and someday, when life is a little slower pace, I'd love to do some reading on it. Any book, article or blog posting suggestions are quite welcome!

I fell in love with adding textures to photos because it helps my photography get closer to that blurry middle line - where the moments I capture as craft are taken one step closer to art.

Here's the before:
and here's the after:

(You can click on the picture to make it larger &
go back & forth between the two to compare)

what do you think? better/worse? more artistic? too artistic? suggestions?

15 October 2011

The "B" family and little Rose is 1 year old!

I was so happy to get another chance to photograph a family in the same location as last week's family. We headed to the park here in Aberdeen and took a few photos. The lighting was mid-morning instead of afternoon and the whole scene was a bit hazy.

Also, I switched from my 40-150mm lense after the first few shots:

The rest of the shoot, I was using my simple 14 - 42. I found it easier - with the children - to be closer to the action. I also found it easier to stay focused on the little ones when they were moving about. It doesn't achieve that gorgeous blurry background, but because we were outside, they were able to stand far away from the trees behind them and it wasn't too bad - you can see that there is a huge depth of field that is in focus here:

But it is much less noticeable when you can't see the ground:

This family had amazing smiles and it was a really nice morning in the park - I'm thankful to have the chance to practice on such sweet new friends!
They even let me try a more fun and artsy shot:

and their daughter started hugging the trees (that's my kind of gal!):

But I think this may be my favourite from the whole morning:
I wish I had such a dreamy photo of me & my husband!

now to learn how to photo-shop strangers on the sidewalk out of the photo...

Oh, I almost forgot! Here's the birthday girl:

poor little Rosie :) Here she is before we wore her out with photos!

Happy Birthday, Rose!

14 October 2011

Berlin Zoo

The zoo is a challenging photography location - on the one hand, it's got gorgeous landscapes and stunning exotic animals. On the otherhand, it's all behind bars and the animals are usually asleep with their backs facing you.
I loved the Berlin Zoo, though, and probably as a result of their wonderful building and planning, the animals seemed quite alert and more contented than I can ever remember seeing animals at any zoo.

I got a couple of shots in Berlin that I loved -

13 October 2011

The "L" Family

This is a sneak preview of the L family who I love and loved spending time with yesterday!
The sun came out which is a rare thing in Aberdeen - and I learned a lot about taking photos in full sun, having to deal with shadows, and just how excited kids are to run free in the sunshine!

here are a couple of my favorites, I'll share more soon!

Thanks to Mrs. L's pinterest page for suggesting this pose which I love!