Posts Tagged ‘children photography’

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A good photographer is a person who is observant of things and people.

I’m not talking about how they can tell if a hair is out of place or when something is different.

I’m talking about they take in what they’re about to photograph and process it in the mind and heart. They know how to interact and they know how to bring it out on the screen-print.
The kind of observant that understands a person’s personality and knows how to bring it out. Even the positions to put them in. Not just observant of the concepts you as a photographer have in mind… with plans for whatever mannequin that comes your way. The right picture for the right personality.

I always tell students-interns that when they look at a picture on the screen unedited and awaiting it’s destiny…. that we look at the picture not at how it is… but what it can become. (Then we pick our battles because some are more worth our limited time than others… I believe God does the same only he has infinite capacity for us all)

So why not when we’re taking the picture … the subject as who they can become.

Not that we’re gonna change them up and put a bunch of makeup there. But we interact and let them be who they’ll be when not burdened down by our own objectives. I mean we’ve got plenty on the plate already… we want them to be right here because this is our background, and to not move too much because I’m focused just right. And dont’ turn around because we’re fond of your face… So i guess it does sound like a lot of things. But go ahead and do whatever you want. haha

I’m thinking here… equal time, equal awesome place with each child. Me laying on the ground (as I’m prone to do) directing the children to sit just exactly where I want them.

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Maybe a bit crass for the audience but all I gave was a simple suggestion to show off the dress and hold it to the side… but I guess I’m not to adept at giving directions so this is what we get.

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A little coaxing from the peanut gallery… a little assurance from my part that he really can do the stuff he wants to do, or the random things we call out. It’s his call and I won’t be upset in the slightest and I’ll make sure his parents don’t talk back for a change.

Being observant is also about listening to their ideas… I find out the dad throws the kids in the air… that’s what we do next. Believe it! (If they’re not throwers and it makes them uncomfortable I wouldn’t even want to do pictures like that)

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They do their thing, they interact, they pose their way… certainly i’m in control of so very much. But it’s all the unspoken stuff that I keep to myself, they don’t need to know about it. They just know that their ideas are welcome and that this particular one i will make awesome and you’re free to be a part of the creative process.

And ready set …. GO!

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Last 3 posts have been about getting children and showing their personality… well in this case this little one is a bit small to be running or even sitting. With no random props to stuff her in we just went with showing off the personality of the WHOLE family. How this child is a part and their feelings for the child. The personality of the family, if you will.

A family picture doesn’t have to be of them looking into the camera.

This little one isn’t very good with directions yet… so let’s just roll with it.

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Then we did the baby on the blanket picture

(more…)

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OK so we’re doing lots of group pictures, the other child is running around and since he’s a boy he’s obviously playing with rocks and sticks. The baby doesn’t have that luxury yet… the muscles in his body won’t allow that yet.

This was nott the first picture that I took… we had a different thought in mind at the beginning, but like so many of my pictures it morphed into this… one of my favorites from the day.

In fact it started with this.

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What shall we do? Ok let’s just lay him on the ground.

Just us getting the baby to do his cute little smiles and laughs.

I switched to get a straight on view

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Still laughing and smiling and happy. The clothes, the eyes and the smile. No balls, no buckets, no boots, no bears… just the child on the dead ol’ grass of cool fall day in the mountains.

Well this kids not gonna move around to much, we’ll get a bunch of his different faces… but it’s about time to switch it up… let’s get the closest parent. The one that probably decided it’s about time for a photoshoot for the family… tadah… there’s mom.

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It can still be about the child with mom as a kinda-sorta-in-there element. Baby still looking up and mom interacting.

OK mom go ahead and do whatever you want.

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Perfect!

Not sure what the facial expression is all about… but we’ll roll with it… I think it’s cute and perhaps I could ask “Ummm, excuse me sir but could you be so kind as to close your trap”

Now that we have that… just lay down next to him and look up mom

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OK mom now look at him. (She already knows she has the freedom to do so in whatever way, and she knows I will make sure it doesn’t look bad, and she knows that we’re rolling with the flow and she gets to be who she wants to be not who I want her to be)

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Beautiful… the interaction… the look in both their eyes.

Personality and emotion aren’t always about over the top. But about those moments I’m sure all parents have all the time. Wonderment. Those peaceful beautiful moments.

You don’t just say ok now have a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful moment…. we find them and create them together.

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

Like this picture? Well let’s take a step back to show how we got there.

The family mentioned very briefly “the log”… so i said well let’s run with YOUR idea (since I don’t have to sell you on it.) Well that’s what I was thinking at least… that they’d be involved in the creative process and we’d come up with pictures that they didn’t just feel they could have gotten at a studio… but something they were involved with.

Prior to the picture below we had done some full group(family) pictures on the log and then we started breaking it down a bit into groups and that’s where we pick it up below.

To get to the picture above we must understand what happened below.

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We did the full family, then just the boys and then we got just the girls sitting on the log.

I separated them for a shot because I wanted them to be all their own personality … 3 individuals in the picture. Then later have them interact to show the personality between all 3.

Then I see the one girl and how she chose to sit… a little bit further… enough that the way her dress was out and on the log caught my attention.

I told the other two to leave … probably my exact words something like “get out of her picture now” said with a big smile so they always know it’s said with love. haha

…and then I took this picture below

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Yes I took the way she chose to sit and the way her dress was and exaggerated them out a little bit and then her hands went down from off her knees and it was just perfect.

But then I thought well that’s a good one of her… but how about just the two little girls without the mom, opposite sides of the log.

They don’t need to match the way they sit nor have their arms in unison in my opinion (though I might throw one variation in there like that.)

Then as the two sisters sat far apart it was time to see what life would bring us.

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I’m sure it was just some simple random command or encouragement… “get close to your sister”, “hug your sister”… something like that they’d both understand.

Who went to who… it didn’t matter… I was ready for anything. Maybe it’s fun psychology to see that it was the little girl moved over and how she moved over and how the big sister reacted.

This is a family… this is personality… this is love.

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Obviously not a pose I could think of on any given day: with her leg practically straddling the log and the other sister awkwardly leaning over and giving a choke hold hug. But these are kids not yet reformed in poise and haven’t studied the delicateness of interaction of hundreds of movies. They just do.

It’s the fluidity of the events, yes there is plenty of direction being given, where we were wasn’t entirely a fluke, who we chose for the log wasn’t either, even getting them together wasn’t either.

But in the end it was their own photo shoot, entirely different than any other and reflecting of their personalities.

FALL FREE SHOOT – The 4th annual charitable shoot

In years past I would have worked on one big long post about my yearly Free week of photo shoots which have been known as my” Fall Free Photoshoot” or the “Charity Shoot” because I donated whatever they gave to a charity or this year the “Charitable shoot” because I made people pay nothing to do the shoot but it was about me giving back to all my past clients (specially past bride and grooms)

In part the big post was in order to get them done and out of the way and jump back into editing of lots of other stuff.

Lots of posts

This year I feel I owe you more posts and great information… I have been slacking in my blog posts department so I’ll work on queueing a bunch of posts interesting to both future client and photographer and of course friends who just love to see nice pictures.

BABIES

I’ve often wondered how I would approach the subject. I see lots of people putting babies and little kids in all sorts of crazy situations. Boots,boats, buckets, balls, bears and bellies.

I wondered if to be successful I would have to shop for a long list of items to keep the photography fresh and have people like my pictures of their kids.

I do a lot of weddings and a lot of travel, yes there are kids at these places and I take pictures of them… but for a shoot to be all about kids that would be different.

Do we change our style when it comes to another field? I’ve found my answer. NO

Focus on what you’re best at.

For me it’s about the personality, the person, making a connection for the viewer of the picture to the subject in the picture. It’s the same in weddings as it is in children photography (for me)

And according to my style a lack of clutter and props helps my viewers to focus more of their attention on what I think is most important… the child. We can call this my laziness for finding and buying creative things, but it does work with my style of photography and if freeing myself up helps, then so be it.

WHEN PROPS WORK (for my style)

Now hey if the parent brings something like a prop for an idea of theirs… so be it… the thing is it’s now a part of them. It’s a mixture of their child and their own creativity, this is a view of the interaction of child and parent.

And when they see their picture they’ll see a family picture with only the child in the picture, and I won’t recreate an exact vision of the parent but I’ll bring out the personality of their idea. I’ll personalize their idea to them in accordance to my way of seeing.

Pictures with meaning

If I come up with some neat idea my job is to make it ours, not mine, alone.  I want them to feel like we were all a part. Looking back at the picture they weren’t just a model or a pawn in my game. But the creative process we experienced together and came up with it as a team.

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Sure I just suddenly thought: “wouldn’t it be cool if we could focus on the daughter by having the mother in but not really”. Almost like a bride holds a bouquet (coming from the mind of a wedding photographer) like a detail shot. But in this case it’s a child. And that child might be called…”hey look here” but they can do what they want as long as it’s not “nothing”

I call for a child’s’ attention not because I want every picture to be of them looking at me, but because there are going to be tons of pictures naturally of them looking away and from time to time they’ll look at me and parents are happy to have a good mixture of those as well.

But if I can remember correctly about the picture above she was probably holding her in a position somewhat like this and probably just told her to exaggerate it more. To hold her lower and straight… like she’s sitting.

It really is one of my favorites… because it’s the personality of the girl, the mom is there, you know it’s her, there’s still connection and all the clothing the parent wanted to show off are all there.

No ball, boot or bucket needed. This is me.

THE TITLE

It never gets old the ambiguity in the meanings of “shoot”

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I’ve been enjoying doing mini-shoots here at the house.

I’d love to continue with them… either Inside (studio) or outside.
Just know that while studio can be fun I’m more enjoyable to work with outside because I’m not consumed with lighting setups.

They’re fast, easy, painless and correspondingly because of these things very inexpensive.
But they are usually on my terms… and if you want more of a real shoot these won’t take the place.

Often they’ll be used to teach my students (which happens to mean you’ll probably get more pictures)

What’s good to do?

  • Senior Pictures
  • Headshots
  • Individual Portraits
  • Pet Photography
  • Roommate pictures
  • Married Couples
  • Children
  • Short Model session (test session)
  • Pics for mother’s day
  • Actor headshots

Want in?

So if you want a mini-shoot let me know, I’ll try to schedule one day a month to do them, or get on a list and I’ll email people when I have a free afternoon.

I will charge pennies on the dollars for these, since they don’t require me to go anywhere, since they’re much much shorter, and since they’re a whole lot less stress. When I say less time, I mean there should be no expectations of time, you’d be surprised how many good pictures I can take in a very short period of time. Then after I’ll get them online and you can order prints or save them for use on facebook for free.

Who knows get on the list maybe some day I’ll offer a shoot to the first person to bring me a nice dinner.

I’d love to stack the portfolio with all sorts of pretty models and expand beyond wedding photography.

If you’re interested get yourself on a list.

jarvie at jarviedigital-com

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More Pics Here

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