I really enjoy shoots that are surprise presents for relatives. I can’t pin it down to a specific reason, maybe it’s the feeling of excitement and suspense or maybe I just like a good surprise but this shoot†with three lovely kids was a surprise for Gran.
The shoot itself took place in sunny Wishaw, and for once it actually was quite sunny so for the two older children, Gemma and Adam, we planned to get some outside shots. We started with little baby Abbi inside, just letting her play around with toys†in the comfort of her living room. Toys are a great distraction for small children but if possible I only use them as a distraction, and crop tightly by using the zoom lens and hanging back so the child does not really notice me. The reason for this is that in my opinion toys can date a picture, and they can also be a distraction to the viewer. Having said all that, I then got some shots of Abbi playing upstairs with a glitterball, now if that isn’t distracting I don’t know what is
I then took some natural light shots of Gemma and Adam upstairs before we headed outside to grab some shots as the weather was playing ball. The children were absolutely brilliant even though it was quite cold. You would be surprised at the amount of hidey holes and nooks and crannies that provide great locations for pictures and there were plenty in the garden.
Thanks very much to Gillian and Pamela for the fantastic hospitality
Here are a few of my favourites from the shoot.
An elephant roller skating through the Royal Doulton showroom would have carried out less damage than I did on this shoot! If I offer to pull down the blinds then politely decline and shuffle me as far away from them as possible, that way they will remain intact
That disaster aside (sorry again guys), this was a great little shoot with a super cute little dude, Joseph. I’m always amazed at how quickly†children and especially babies relax and their true nature unfolds right in front of the lens. This was especially true with Joseph. He has a great little personality and it shows in the pictures we managed to get. Most of the shots were taken in the living room with a studio light/umbrella and a reflector. A large light and umbrella can be an intimidating thing for a small baby or child, especially when the shoot gets going but little Joseph wasn’t phased at all. As always I prefer using natural light when at all possible so we positioned Joseph on the couch and used a reflector to reflect back some light from outside.
My thanks go to Chris and Claire, especially for the way they laughed off my destrucive streak
Here are a few of my favourites from the day.
There’s wet and there’s Larbert. I honestly now think it has it’s own little micro climate out there. I always prefer to get outside for some shots so I started off in Graeme and Shirley’s lovely home and gave the rain a chance to chill out a bit. The four children were proper little characters and were great fun to photograph. We hunted around inside for some locations and managed to find a few different places,†and just as we were thinking of calling it a day the rain stopped for all of 5 minutes. Plenty of time to get Chloe, Adam and Andrew outside for a few shots in the garden whilst baby Matthew looked on from the warm cosy couch inside.
All of this shoot was shot using flash as the ambient light was non existent. One thing I’ll need to remember however is not to look directly into the flash from about 3mm away and then plug in the remote to it when the flash is on full power. When I close my eyes I can still see the flash shape burned into my eyelids. Worryingly it’s not the first time I’ve done it
Thanks to Graeme and Shirley who were very hospitable and made Joanne and I feel very welcome indeed. Great tea too
Here a few shots from the day.
It is an absolute pleasure to introduce to you†one week old baby Carla.
Carla’s mum and dad are very good friends of mine so it was an absolute honour to be asked to photograph†their new arrival. Congratulations guys, she’s an absolute cracker!
As always with newborns†for me it’s all about capturing the little details and expressions they have because†day on day they change so quickly.†The wrinkled skin, tiny finger and toenails†are great to photograph. Little Carla was on top form and gave us loads of great little expressions.†I even managed to get mum and dad in a couple of shots as well
Here are a few shots from the shoot, enjoy
2011 is going to be a very big year for me, both personally and professionally and I can’t wait for it to unfold. This blog is my own personal way of giving a nod to my family. Without their constant love and support I wouldn’t be doing what I am now and I definitely wouldn’t be about to have the year that lies in front of me.†
This is a photographic blog so I’ve got to bring in photography in some way right?
When I’m on a job I have my second family with me, my kit. In many ways my camera and lenses are just like my family members, each piece of kit has its own traits, its strengths, its weaknesses and its little quirks, just like my family. I love my camera and my lenses and I rely on them in some tight moments, just like I do my family. Let me explain a bit further.†
Firstly, I have my camera, a canon 7d, or otherwise known as Anthony, my 11 year old son. In some ways it’s the perfect camera, point it at a running toddler and it’ll pretty much hit focus 90% of the time, so it’s very reliable, just like Anthony. On the other hand there are times when it throws a wobbly and you have the priest’s nose in razor sharp focus and the bride and groom are nothing but a blur. Again, just like every other 11 year old, who are known to throw the odd wobbly. When the chips are down however, both the 7d and Ant always pull through.†
Next up I have my 17-40mm F4 lens, or Thomas, my 5 year old. This lens is quite a small lens by L standards, just like Thomas. Thomas takes his height from me, in other words he’s just a couple of inches bigger than a hobbit. The images this lens gives are beautiful. My copy is also razor sharp, as is little Thomas. He definitely doesn’t get his intelligence from me. Once again, this is a lens that you can rely on to perform when you need it to. The images this lens produces always make me smile. So does my fellow hobbit Thomas.†
My 50mm F1.4 lens is the smallest of my lenses, as is Peter, my 2 year old son. One moment you love this lens to pieces and the next you curse the Japanese engineer that gave birth to it (PS: my wife Louise is not Japanese or an engineer).†The reason this lens can drive you to dispair is the focusing, sometimes it can be a bit hit and miss. When it hits however, the images it produces straight out of the camera are breathtaking and you realise you could never be without it, just like Peter.†
Finally, my favourite piece of kit. The piece of kit that will be buried next to me with ceremonial robes on. My 70-200mm F2.8is lens. Alternatively known as my wife, Louise. Every time I plunk this on the camera I know the images I’m going to get are going to be great. It focuses like a dream, and has never let me down yet. In rain, hail or shine this lens just works. It is dependable and when you’re in a tight spot and just have to get the shot it delivers, just like Louise. In both my families Louise is the one who is going to make this year possible and I won’t forget that. When you need support and someone to tell you it straight Louise always delivers.
No matter how many times Peter misses focus or Anthony’s memory card is full just when you get that killer expression, or when you feel like a grade A clown because Thomas still has his lens cap on and you’re wondering why daylight has suddenly became night, they are my two families and I love them both dearly.
Now if you’ll excuse me It’s time to go tuck in my 70-200mm…