|© Simon Aldred|
This past Saturday, I was conducting one of my Tough Love portfolio review sessions with photographer Simon Aldred in England. Like all of us, Simon had some okay shots - snapshots that perhaps could have been great shots with a little more attention to detail . . . in camera and in the digital darkroom.
Simon, however, also had a few pictures the really caught my eye - one being the photograph of his daughter, Grace, that opens this post. I love everything about the image. Mostly, the mood.
Simon on the photo: This is one of my favourite images and makes it all the more special as it is of my beautiful little girl. We were playing in the garden with the sun starting to set and I figured that creating a backlight with Grace's hair would be a nice effect. I waited until the sun clipped the top of the fence creating a lovely dispersed quality to the light. I was especially lucky to capture Grace in a thoughtful, whimsical moment which meant she wasn't swinging as fast as normal - helped with the shutter speed selection! Looking through the eye piece, I was sure that this would look better in monochrome and applied a simple effect in Lightroom.
This was probably one of the first pictures that I actually "created" rather than just "took." Interestingly, the picture creates a real divide - some love it and others think that the sombre mood and crazy hair don't do Grace justice. I guess that's the beauty of photography.
I think Simon's photograph illustrates one of my favorite photo philosophies: Photograph what you love and you'll love your photographs.
Simon on the photo: I recently attended a 1/2 day workshop bought through Groupon! My expectations for the session were pretty low given the price of entrance and wasn't really sure what to expect. The surprise was a shoot with a local model - my first with anyone other than friends or family. Given the size of the group, we had only enough time to take a 3-4 images each and I was determined to capture something different to everyone else. Whilst most other people were shooting with more classical portrait lenses, I opted for the 70-200 and zoomed in pretty tight wanting a real close up.
Having never worked with a professional model before, I was unsure/anxious on direction and simply asked her to give me a more intense look and look straight into the lens. She made it all very easy from there!
Interested in a Tough Love session? Check out the comments below from past participants. A little tough love can go a long way to becoming a better photographer. Info at Tough Love.
Explore the light,