I last photographed this great family about a year ago in the snow but this time it was a clear day, although very cold. It was great seeing Paul, Suzanne and all the children again and as usual they were in great form. You won’t meet four nicer well mannered children and it was a delight to photograph them and let them help with holding the lights.
We started in their new house which was great for photographs. There was lots of natural light coming in through the large windows which is ideal for children’s portraits. Then it was off to a nearby river to finish off the shoot.
Thanks again to Paul and Suzanne who were the perfect hosts
Here are a few from the day.
The Lanark area is becoming quite a popular place for me these days which is a good thing, especially given the landscape and scenery. For this shoot we had a nearby wood and field which was a great location to take some natural shots of the family, even though it was blowing a gale!
As always we started off in the house where we just let little Grace and Cayden play away naturally. Once they had become used to the camera and me we then went outside to brave the weather and the nearby field. After a couple of near misses with a few piles of sheep dung we headed back inside to finish things off.
Here are a few shots (minus the dung)
This shoot was of four grandchildren and was a present for their grandparents. Their were four faces to photograph, Sophie, Callum, Jessica and little Georgia. The shoot itself took place just outside of Motherwell in a house that was just about custom built for taking photographs. The children’s playroom was like a studio, with nice blank walls and not too many distractions, so it was here that most of the shots were taken. As the shoot went on the light was fading fast so I took the older two children outside in the setting sun for a few shots.
Many thanks to all who made me feel so welcome
Here are the children.
It was off to Alloa this time to photograph little 8 month old Maia. The weather was pretty much perfect for me, dry and overcast so I was a happy camper
Even though it was dry outside it was pretty cold so most of the shots were taken inside using a few speedlites to try and make our own daylight as it was almost dark outside, even at 11am! Little Maia herself was fascinated with the flashing lights which made for some funny expressions at times.
Many thanks to mum and dad who braved the cold at then end of the shoot for some outside shots
Here are a few of the shots.
This blog post is a two in one of sorts. First off little Ainsley. I know you’ve heard me say many times that children were a delight to photograph but little Ainsley has raised the bar considerably on this front, she was brilliant. From the minute I arrived until I left she was full of fun, smiles, funny faces and laughter. Before I knew it three hours had flown in and Ainsley was still wanting more photographs taken. Many thanks to mum and dad who were great in helping, although Ainsley had that pretty much covered too
Onto the second part of this post which relates to post processing. Please feel free to turn off/fall asleep as it’s probably boring for 99.9% of you but it’s going to make a big difference to the way I work. What I’m referring to is a set of presets for Lightroom (the program I edit my pictures in) that pretty much mimics the look of traditional film. Now I can hear snores already but bear with me. Many years ago I shot film, primarily black and white as I had my own darkroom but I also dabbled in colour at times, although loved and still do the timeless look of B&W. The B&W film I used was either Ilford Delta or Ilford HP5 or Kodak T-Max. The only real colour film I played with was Kodak Porta which was given to me by another photographer to try out. I always like the kind of muted colours of the Porta and although I wasn’t a heavy colour film user it became the only one I used. The black and white films were all great films, my favourite being the Delta. Fast forward to the digital age and film is almost dead but still photographers the world over, me included, try to replicate the look of film in their digital images. I know that’s a bit ironic but there’s something about the look and feel of film that’s so attractive to me. It’s the imperfections that attracts me so much to the old developing process. The tiny hair that you don’t see in the enlarger or the heavy grain because you’ve underexposed by a stop and have pushed a bit too hard afterwards and also the dodging and burning of areas in the photograph that made developing your own photographs a difficult skill. The only way I can describe it is to compare it to vinyl and CD. When CD first arrived it was a wow moment because it was so clinically clear sounding without hiss or crackle. But, and it’s a big but for me, I loved hearing the hiss and crackle and warmth that vinyl gave. It gave the record a bit of character which is what I always felt digital images were missing just ever so slightly. Since starting out again in digital I’ve always tried to get that film look in my images but failed miserably. I’ve never been truly happy with either my colour or B&W post processed images. I’ve tried MANY presets and actions and they just never seem to really mimic film, until now. Last night I saw a tweet regarding a set of Lightroom presets that gave the film look. The photographer that sent the tweet is top notch so I digged a little deeper into these presets and read a few blogs and forums about them. All looked promising so I decided to take the plunge and I’m glad I did. I loaded up Ainsley’s images again, reset all the raw files and decided to really give them a test. Right away I could see they were very good indeed. With a couple of clicks I had an Ilford HP5 or a T-Max photograph up on the screen. You’re probably thinking so what, but now I can create my favourite look with 2 clicks rather than pfaffing about for ages in Lightroom and eventually giving up and this will give my images a consistent look that I feel I’ve been missing. The presets in question are from VSCO Film and are the only presets I’ve actually felt the need to buy. I don’t regret it for one second. So, here are a few of the images from Ainsley’s shoot processed using only the VSCO presets and at most have involved 3 clicks of a mouse in lightroom. You’ll probably think there’s not much difference from my usual but therein lies the rub, less is definitely more when post processing
For anybody remotely interested all of the images below were created with either the Ilford HP5 or Kodak Porta presets.