Back in the office today after the first busy weekend of First Communions.
Everyone was in fine form – despite the untimelty downpoor on Saturday. It’s a lovely time to be doing family photos and there are always some lovely photos coming out of the Communion sessions. The kids are a great age: full of fun and confidence.
I’ve my work cut-out getting through all those pics before next weekend but if you had a session with me over the weekend then proofs will be available shortly.
If you have a Communion coming up then we’re fully booked for the 23rd May but there are some slots available on the 9th and 16th May so call now 021-4293714
It’s in the nature of what I do that many assignments come at short notice. Yesterday lunchtime I was asked to photography my daughters for a promotional image for the dance company they work so hard for. My pleasure. But what to do?
What do we have to work with: it’s sunny, we are blessed with a large garden but it’s a bit cluttered (trampolines, sheds, swings, nets etc), we also have access to our neighbour’s garden which is a lot greener (but quite narrow). Thankfully it’s half-day at Secondary school and the girls are in fine form and have matching dresses.
So we’ll work out the garden thing but the sun is the first challenge. Nice and bright but we need to make sure we deal with the contrast between the direct sun and the shadows. There’s no real shade at this time of the year so we need to plan to shoot in full sun. Personally I generally shoot into the sun or at a slight angle so that my subject is in reasonably even shadow and we might get a bright rim light.
Fine but now there’s a stop (or more) between my subject and the background. You have two options: expose for the shadow and blow the background by overexposing it; or get some additional light into the subject using a reflector or an artificial light source. I want my background so it’s going to be the second option. I’m a big fan of the reflector but I don’t have one big enough to light a full length shot and no time to find something to improvise. On site I’d normally use on-camera flash to fill in here but I have a little more time and enough kit at home to try something else: off camera flash to one side. This gives me the option to get more dramatic lighting (since it’s a dance pose).
When we get to the bottom of the garden there’s actually some lovely dappled shade at the bottom of the garden from the bare trees. Two bonuses here: the back-lighting is now way more interesting and textured; it’s also somewhat diffused so there’s slightly less contrast between the sun and the shade. Result.
As it happens my first few test shots show that the camera’s exposure is pretty much bang on so we work away.
Some lovely stuff in there and hopefully we’ll be seeing them around Cork very soon ahead of the show in May.
Daughter Number One has been on at me since Christmas for some nice shots of her dancing to balance out the swimming pics on her wall. So as well as the duets for Tina we do a few of her on her own. I’m sure Other Daughter will want some now too when she sees these…
After what has proven to be a number of false-dawns, I’m back on the blog and determined (this time) to generate some interesting and useful content.
Many people have commented on seeing my work in a particular local press publication (and an associated magazine). Although that gig was fun while it lasted, that relationship has run its course and I’m now able to focus my efforts back to my core business.
It was a good experience on a number of fronts:
I had the pleasure of shooting profile pictures of a wide variety of interesting and entertaining people – photographing ‘normal’ adults for profiles is quite a different experience to chasing kids around a park and you just can’t do enough of it. Especially when you have limited time and resources and have to think on your feet. You learn something about them, about yourself and about they way you work every time.
I was reminded of why I went to work for myself and the good and the bad of doing so.
It also served to remind me of my core values in business and how they separate me from others. I firmly believe that a business differenitates itself by how it behaves much more than what it produces and the key to success is to do the right thing by people and walk the talk.
So I need to make a public apology to everyone who didn’t get as much of my time and attention over the last six months due to the distraction of The Press. I vow to re-focus my efforts on doing that I do best: looking after people and their memories.