Sunday, November 1, 2009

Never let a black cat critique your work

One of the great things about having a father who is a professional photographer is that you get beautiful portraits from every event that occurs during the year. One of the bad things about having a father who is a professional photographer is that he's always bugging you to let him take beautiful portraits during everything that happens during the year.

Yesterday being Halloween, I of course wanted to take some nice shots of my two daughters in their Halloween costumes. So, after they were dressed, we went into the studio and took some pictures.

Because they're my family and because I do this quite a bit, I don't typically spend as much time or care when taking pictures of my two girls. As a result, yesterday when I looked at the pictures I had taken of my youngest daughter Mackenzie, I discovered that her Strawberry Shortcake hat was pulled down just a little bit too low over her left eye. The left eye, though visible, was in shadow. As my wife and I were looking at the picture I turned to her and said, "I'm probably the only person who will even notice that." No sooner had I said it when my oldest daughter, Samantha, walked up behind me, looked at the picture and said, "that's a great picture of Mackenzie but you can't see her eye."
Let's keep in mind that my oldest daughter is only five years old.

Now, I don't know if the shadow on Mackenzie's eye was that obvious or if Samantha, having spent her entire life being photographed, has actually developed an eye for spotting mistakes. What I do know is that five minutes after she said it, we were back in the studio taking new pictures of Strawberry Shortcake.

These two pictures are actually good exanples of how I like to work when it comes to portraits. When photographing Sam (the cat), I lit her in a more dynamic fashion with more shadow on her face. This creates more depth and contrast in the picture which I thought was appropiate for a "roaring" cat. Also, because she is in black, I shot her against dark blue. When Mac came in for her picture, I changed the background to a more red tone to match her color scheme and moved the light more on center to remove most of the shadows on her face. Strawberry Shortcake shouldn't be scary.

You can see more of my work on my website.