My background is journalism and photojournalism, but I’ve spent the last year trying to hone my skills with portrait photography. I’ve captured many “in the moment” documentary photos of all my nieces and nephews (and all the family and friends) from the last 25+ years, but I am trying to get my formal portraiture down. It’s a learning process. Taking classes here and there and reading books and blogs. But the bottom line is: practice, practice, practice. And after that, practice some more.
I have a beautiful new grand niece (three months old) and have been trying to set up a formal new family session since her birth. The first one had too many competing influences; but finally got to have a real session on Sunday.
At three months and seven days old, Miss Maylee just started teething. Hard to get some good family shots with a baby in pain.
Lessons learned: be patient; take your time; and have a grandparent with a pink fuzzy animal nearby. Grandpa was off to the side in this shot. Again, a learning moment. That’s the best thing about non-perfection: you learn what you want to do next time. It’s all good. Not a bad shot here, but I want something better next time.
I would place grandpa or grandma directly in front of the camera with that pink dinosaur. Get Maylee to look at the lens, rather than off to the side.
One thing I’ve learned about portraiture is that longer focal lengths are much more flattering to the human face. I used my 75-300 zoom lens set on a tripod. The beauty of that is next time, I can have grandma or grandpa in front of the lens with that pink dinosaur but out of view because of the long focal length. And the family will look marvelous.
Looking forward to more experiments with my baby photography.