Photo Session Tips and a Cropping Experiment

August 7th, 2008

If you’ve ever been to my blog, you know I take lots of pictures.

Pictures of flowers.

And benches.

And trees.

PICT0056 edited full size

And this cute little Wooga monster.

But shooting pictures of the cute little Wooga monster is very difficult, because:

  1. He moves.
  2. His genuine smiles and laughs are unpredictable.
  3. And fleeting.
  4. And he moves.
  5. A lot.

So, I’ve found I have to both plan well and be spontaneous to get good shots.

For example, yesterday I noticed it was beautifully overcast.

And I love taking pictures on overcast days, because the diffuse light is great for taking outdoor pictures.

So, I decided spur-of-the-moment to take advantage of the good lighting and stage a summer themed photo shoot with the Bubbers king.

After that came the planning portion.

Since the little man moves non-stop, I had to think of something that would both keep him stationary and make him smile.

And for every child this is going to be different, but for Bubbers, playing with water both thrills him and keeps him fairly stationary.

Not to mention it’s perfect for a summer themed activity.

So, I pulled out our kiddie pool and filled it with water.

PICT0076 edited

But I didn’t put it just anywhere in the yard.

I specifically placed it where there was a neutral, non-distracting background (i.e., away from the swing set, shed and deck).

After that, I positioned myself on the ground directly across from him.

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And sometimes I was on my belly and shooting from below.

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And sometimes I was on my knees and shooting from slightly above.

Either way, I tried to maintain interaction with him while he played.

That way he smiled even more and directed those smiles at me.

And since you never know when they’re going to smile, I often focused my camera on him, but waited to take the picture until right when he smiled at me.

But sometimes I get off when I’m sitting there waiting.

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And I get a good picture (straight-out-of-the-camera) that’s a little off.

But I liked it and thought it still had some potential.

PICT0063 edited full size

So I turned it sepia.

And boosted the lightness.

And the contrast.

Then out of nowhere I thought I’d get a little crazy…..

PICT0063 crop 1

And do a funky crop.

I think I like it.

But I’m not sure…..

What do you think?

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13 Comments »

Maegan | 8/7/2008 2:53 pm

Hey Heidi, delurking to say I love it! I’m no photographer but I think you took a good shot and then turned it into one that you should hang on your wall! But then you probably have pictures of your adorable son all over your walls already. :)

 
Heidi | 8/7/2008 3:29 pm

Welcome, Maegan, and thank you! Your comment made me laugh, because it’s only been just this week that I’ve finally started decorating our new house and I don’t have ANY pictures of Bubbers up. Which is so wrong and needs to be fixed ASAP! :)

 
Wandering Nana-Linda | 8/7/2008 5:37 pm

I love this picture, especially the final one. It just shows his personality… it’s like he is telling you something and you’re just waiting for the words! Great job.

 
Jesse | 8/7/2008 7:00 pm

I love off-centered cropping. It has a very dynamic effect.

I totally employ many of these same techniques when taking pictures of my kiddos. It takes about 50 shots to get a handful of really good ones. They are my favorite photo subjects though, just as I’m sure Bubbers is to you!

 
charlotte | 8/7/2008 9:14 pm

Wow – I don’t have any photographic opinions but I’m amazed at how much work and thought goes into your pics!

 
Suzanne | 8/8/2008 3:49 am

I love what you have done with the photos, the last one that is changed to sepia and cropped has a real professional edge. Maybe a new careers waiting for you.

 
Starwoodgal | 8/8/2008 6:39 am

all the photos are great!

 
Shawna | 8/8/2008 10:41 am

I love the final result. Nice job! I also really like the first picture. His smile is too cute for words.

 
apple | 8/8/2008 4:36 pm
 
alycia | 8/9/2008 11:12 am
 
tearese | 8/10/2008 10:02 pm

Sounds like you take pictures of him like I take pictures of Joshua and Elora. THey never hold still! I like the crop, probably because it looks like the compositions I like to do SOOC…which may or may not work.
Good job!

 
Tammy | 8/13/2008 9:48 am

I love your pictures…..

Heidi | 8/13/2008 10:48 am

Thank you, Tammy, and welcome! :)

 
 
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