Thursday, May 14, 2009

Working on that smile

Benjamin

One of the things I'm struggling with at the moment is deciding whether to mix my personal photos on this blog with my professional photos. When I first started Points of Light four years ago this month, there was no issue mixing professional shots with my personal shots. There were no professional shots at that time. I was shooting for the pure enjoyment of learning and improving my craft.

I've gotten to the point where people are willing to part with some money to have me do my thing. On one hand, it's a different type of photography than shooting whatever happens to interest me at the moment. On the other hand, it's a part of my life as a photographer. I have another blog that's strictly business. Should I also have one that strictly personal?

Benjamin and Melissa 1

After seeing how photos of Benjamin and his mom, Melissa turned out, I couldn't resist the urge to post them here. Melissa was part of a quartet of longtime female friends who had gone their separate ways to begin families. They decided to reunite for a weekend in Chicago earlier this month and searched for a local photographer to take some portraits of the group and individual mommy/baby combos (thanks, Google!).

On the morning of the shoot, little Benjamin was not feeling well and could only manage a worried looking scowl the entire time the other babies were smiling for the camera. I offered to return after Benjamin was feeling well again to do some retakes. These photos are some of the the results of that session.

Benjamin has a new set of chompers and likes to rub the lowers against the uppers, hence the slightly off kilter alignment of teeth in the top photo. It didn't diminish his cuteness -- or his sparkly eyes.

Benjamin and Melissa 2

These photos were shot using the "magic" setting on my camera. Okay, my camera doesn't have a "magic" setting. I have to set it myself. If you're shooting portraits, try these -- aperture priority set at the lowest number setting for shallow depth of field to throw the background out of focus; medium zoom (I used 35mm, which is equivalent to about 55mm given my camera's sensor size); placed subjects in the shade. If I allowed any sun in the shot, I made sure it was either behind or to the side of the subject. I gave the exposure a +1 compensation, focused on the subject's eyes and fired away. And I made sure to keep an eye on the background and repositioned myself as necessary to minimize the distractions that always lurk there.

Photographs © 2009 James Jordan.

5 comments:

Steve said...

Art is art Jim. If you didn't tell us, we might not know which shots are work and which are personal! I personally welcome a mixture.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I'm happy with the mix. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the time you spend supplying tips ... some of it is sinking in. Thanks.

Ron said...

I keep coming back to these. Mom and baby look so happy, especially in the second one. I don't think there is any problem mixing some business in with the personal. They are still great photos and enjoyable to look at.

James said...

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. One of the things I've used this blog for is to document my self-improvement as a photographer, which comes in fits and starts and sometimes follows no logical progression. So if you don't mind that type of eclecticity, I'll keep serving it up.

Alida Thorpe said...

Great shots of family.
A good entry for Thursday Challenge (Childhood)!