Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 12: Portrait

Most photos I take are portraits. Most photos I take are of my kids.

My kids are great subjects--always available and unfazed that my camera is in their face. The little one will still gladly strike a pose, and I can take candids of either all day long. They don't pay attention to me most of the time, so why would that change when I have a camera in my hand?

The only people I've seen today are my husband and kids, so my portrait subjects were limited. I don't include my children's names or faces on Flotsam of the Mind, so that required me to be creative in the angle of the shots. I've chosen the following one not only because I like the composition of the shot but because the sight is so familiar to me.

boy reading a book

My son looks like this most of the time. In the photo, he's reading the seventh Harry Potter book. He finished it mid-afternoon--the third time he's read the entire series.

Because I did the portrait assignment on Father's Day, I would be remiss if I didn't include a Father's Day photo. Here is Daddy getting hugs and kisses after receiving chocolate chip cookies in bed.

father and son hugging and kissing

Obviously, I'm partial to the subjects and subject matter in this one, but I like the photo as well. While some may disagree, I like that my husband's hands hugging my son are in focus but their faces are not. To me, it emphasizes the affection of the moment.

Finally, because I just can't stop myself, I would like to share one of my favorite portraits. My grandmother, at age 95, is sharp as a tack. She often is telling a story and always has a smile on her face and a sparkle in her blue eyes. In posed photos, however, she rarely smiles at all.

When I saw Grandma last spring, I took candid photos of her while she was telling stories to my kids and laughing with them. The photos are fantastic because they capture her personality perfectly.

smiling white-haired woman

I also have a great tip that goes with this photo, and I stumbled upon it completely by accident. This photo with the lovely natural light on her face and dark background was taken in her garage. Grandma was seated there in a rocker while the children ran in and out through the open garage door, so that's where I took the photo.

To replicate this inexpensive but perfect situation, place your subject just inside where the sunlight shining into the garage ends. She will get indirect, natural light on her face and, with a short depth of field, the garage clutter will be invisible in the shadows.

Tomorrow's challenge is Dynamic Tension. For further information, see Expert Photography's How to Use Dynamic Tension to Make Your Photos More Dramatic. I'll be honest. This one seems a little vague and poorly described in the article, and I cannot find a better online article about it. So, let's all just see what we make of it and share our results. These may be our most disparate results yet.

Who were your portrait subjects today? I'm looking forward to seeing some cute kids. What do you think of my results? Have a favorite? Agree with my assessment of the black and white one or wish it had greater depth of field? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

See you tomorrow for dynamic tension, whatever that means.

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