He’s at the fun, but exhausting, exploring stage. He wants to see and touch everything and usually test it against his mouth. Every drawer is opened and it’s contents emptied. Cupboards are no longer safe. Our tub is full of items that he finds and throws in there. The q-tip box has been picked up multiple times. The bathrooms remain on lockdown.
He’s busy. And messy.
And then this picture reminds me what it’s like to explore a world where everything is a new experience. He saw the sun coming through the shutters and it was hitting his arm. He waved it up and down watching the light dance across it. Not quite sure what was going on. He stood there for a while doing the same thing over and over again. I often forget as I’m walking from one room to another cleaning up after him that he’s just exploring. He’s trying to figure out his little body and build experiences in that little brain of his. This particular day he played with light.
I was sitting in my sister-in-law’s kitchen watching Briggs inch his way closer to the doorway. I kept watching his shadow. The closer he got to the door, the longer his shadow grew. And then he got up on all fours and started bear crawling preparing to cross the door threshold. His shadow took on new dimension – and his legs looked just as skinny in his shadow! Not too many crawling bum shots left in this guy’s future.
Windows are valuable assets when shooting photos indoors. Often rooms are poorly lit – but shooting against a window gives more than enough light for a proper exposure. You can use the light to partially light your subject – or you can use that light to shoot part of your subject and capture their reflection. I don’t do this often enough, but I love the result. Especially when they’re really concentrating on something (like watching someone make chocolate at the chocolate factory tour – or a throwback to when Hallie was a little one watching the mailman come and go!)
Reflections are another way to creatively tell the story of your kid’s childhood. Try it. Practice it. You’ll end up loving it.
I set him in the grass so I could grab my plate of food and when I turned around this perfect ray of light escaped over the fence to illuminate the back yard. The sun dropped quickly, but for just a moment, it highlighted his body so warmly as he sat there enjoying a warm bottle. I like that his little wispy hairs on the top of his head are accentuated and that his little hands carefully hold his bottle and his favorite blanket. His little legs are relaxed, yet his toes are curled. And he was perfectly content – until he realized I wasn’t right next to him!
Nikon D750 | Lens 24-120 | F 4.0 | Shutter 1/800 | ISO 1000
Photography is a very personal journey and everyone tends to have their own style. I have always liked photographing eyes, because the eyes always tell a story. A story of happiness, or exhaustion or even worry. Some eyes are dark and others have an amazing ability to catch and reflect light. To me, there is something captivating and inviting about a close up photo of someone where you see their eyes. Because of this, I’m usually trying to get my subject to look at the camera. But as I continue to study it out, I’m realizing all that I’m missing out on by only photographing eyes. I’m missing some of the details.
An article I read suggested pushing the picture outside the frame of the camera and not showing the whole subject. I believe I’ve done this in the past, but I always make sure the head is in the picture. I’m working on turning that upside down. Sometimes it’s okay to not capture the eyes or the smile. (Although it took everything in me to not pull back and get the smile he was flashing across the yard at Bennett as he prepared to run the football at him!)
This picture shows the details of Hunter as he was playing one afternoon after school. The Puma shoes he wears that were passed down from a cousin. The graphic nike socks that he wears every single day since he got them in his stocking. His black watch that he got last year for Christmas and I’m still surprised he hasn’t lost it. And the football in his hand. I’m starting to wonder if I’d recognize him without him carrying a football. These details tell a story about Hunter, without showing all of him.
I think this way of photography works – obviously it might get old if you consistently don’t show any faces. But there is something about not having a face in the photo to automatically draw attention to. The details might always be there but they’re not always noticed when there’s a handsome face smiling back at you. It’s something to think about as you frame the shot.