A Note on Content

The purpose of this blog is twofold: (1) to advertise my services as a photographer, and (2) to provide useful information to people who want to take better pictures, particularly when it comes to photographing children.

Although I have not organized the blog posts in any particular order, I have tried to start with basic information and build from there, so those wanting to learn more about photography and visiting the site for the first time may want to start with the oldest posts first.

If you have questions or comments about the blog, please feel free to leave a comment or to email me directly. I hope the photos and other information presented here help you appreciate the art of children's photography, and inspire you to take great photographs of your own.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode VII: Toxic Waste Dump

I get it: industrial backgrounds are "in," but seriously, the photo is cluttered, the girl in back has her eyes closed, and it looks, for all the world, like three small children decided to have a picnic at a Superfund site.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seize the Day

Sometimes great portraits happen almost by accident. Take this one. During a break in a family portrait session, I noticed this two year old standing in interesting light with golden leaves to match her hair. A few quick shots later and I had this. No smiles (she's very camera shy), but there's something captivating about the image, no? The hair, those deep blues. Something in the look. It's an image that--at least to my mind--makes one stop AND look.

The point is to not be afraid to "seize the day" and press the shutter button, even if it's not according to plan. Perfect lighting, that perfect moment--it's all rather fleeting, so be sure to grab hold of those little unexpected moments and see what can happen!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode VI: Nice Weeds

When used properly, selective focus is a beautiful thing. When used clumsily, however, you get ... this. Why, in God's green earth, is the couple out of focus?! To my eye, this is a photo of weeds (what's in focus), and there just happens to be a couple in the background. Looks like a cute moment as well, but no, the grass is far more interesting. Put this in your wedding announcement, by all means, and your seed catalog as well.

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode V: Search & Rescue Training Video

Okay, so maybe "disaster" is a bit strong to describe this one. The concept's not bad: a path, a girl, she's placed off-center left, but what's up with that pose? The model looks neither natural nor comfortable (may have something to do with the pending rock slide) and the image is cluttered: dude, what does that sign say? (Probably "Beware of falling rocks and cheap photographers.")

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode IV: Land of the Lost

These kids are cute, and the colors in this picture lovely, but the children seem to have been placed randomly around the frame and just left there, standing awkwardly, wondering what the photographer wants them to do. There's no relationship suggested between the kids either, and they are each "standing alone."

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode III: Earthquake Victim

The human eye expects things like the laws of gravity to apply, even in photography. So, while shifting the horizon DOES make photos look unique, it also makes them look uniquely silly, and, at the risk of repeating myself, detracts from the subject.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode II: "Off With Their Heads!"

"Amputation" is the word used to describe a cropping error in portrait photography, and then there's this (triple amputation with a double decapitation thrown in for good measure). Where's the focus on this picture? Looks like an ad for a fertility clinic.