I’ve been working like a fiend lately, taking portraits for friends, family, and everyone in between. Here are a few from my most recent shoots. Enjoy!
A little over a month ago, I was able to meet with V and her lovely family for a photo shoot in their backyard. To call it a mere “backyard,” though, is a vast understatement. V’s backyard is an absolute wonderland of trails, hidden alcoves, a babbling brook, and all manner of flowers and plants. It rivaled the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for shear amazement. I had a great time with V and her parents. V is at that remarkably clever age where everything is still an adventure and even the most mundane of household objects can become anything her heart desires.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been dabbling quite a bit in portrait photography over the past few months, and I’m thrilled with the results! I’ve met quite a few wonderful and brave people who allowed me to experiment on them and their families and I’m so happy to finally feel comfortable with my skill set and to show it off to the interwebz!
This is Heather, Jeff, and their precocious daughter, Izzy. I’ve known Heather for ages and ages: first in college, then at work. We’ve been friends through a ton of life changes, and I’m over the moon with happiness at the lovely, relatively new family Heather has in her life. This is a family who knows how to have FUN.
I hope you enjoy these pictures, and stay tuned, because I am going to be offering portrait sessions very soon!
If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t take pictures of people. Like, almost never. When I go on vacation, I will take the requisite photograph of my traveling partner and me once or twice (maybe three or four times if I’m feeling randy), but other than that, I focus completely on the buildings and the scenery, finding them endlessly more fascinating than yet another photograph of me standing in front of some landmark. I suppose some would say that makes my photographs slightly impersonal, but it’s what I do and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon.
However, in a desire to challenge myself a bit, I offered to take maternity photos of two of my closest friends who are expecting their very first baby in a few months. There was very little pressure: I did the photos for free, and I figured that if nothing else, I was certain I could get a handful of decent shots out of the session.
We met up at Aldridge Gardens two Saturdays ago (turns out I would get engaged that night, although I didn’t know it at the time!) and spent about half an hour traipsing about, although not too much as I didn’t want my friend to go into labor then and there!
A few things I learned:
- Think hard about the list of poses you want to shoot, because chances are, when you get to the scene, you will have completely forgotten what you only slightly thought about beforehand.
- Ensure that your subjects (makes them sound like science projects, no?) wear solid colors. Fortunately, I remembered to ask my friends to do so ahead of time so this wasn’t a problem.
- Don’t shoot in the middle of the day. Okay, I knew this already so it’s not like I learned it the other day. The “golden hour” is always, always your best bet, but let’s face it, it’s not always possible to shoot at this time. To work around this (it was 2 in the afternoon when we had our photo session), I tried to remember to have my friends not face the sun as much as possible, because when one faces the sun, one’s face tends to get scrunched up. I found myself laying on the ground several times to get photos in which my friends weren’t staring directly into bright sunlight, or covered in very harsh shadows. Work with the light you are given.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your subjects to stand a certain way or to put their hand on someone’s shoulder, for instance. Get the shot and make it good. Don’t regret afterward that you didn’t tell them to stand differently.
- Tell your subjects how great they look, because they do! It’s scary being in front of a camera lens, and since most of us aren’t professional models, it’s up to you as the photographer to ensure that they are relaxed and natural.
That’s it! I’m hardly the person who should be giving tips out on things like this, but I felt like I did learn a lot about photographing people from that one session! Now, if I ever choose to do this again, I think I will be much more prepared as long as I keep the previous bullet points in my mind!