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.

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.

Disasters in Portrait Photography - Episode 1: "There's No Place Like Home ..."

After reviewing ads for photographers on a local website, I decided I would start a new series called "disasters in photography" highlighting photos that are so deliciously bad they are almost--dare I say?--good. Enjoy.

Though I hope the "badness" of these photos is readily apparent, I thought I'd throw in a serious critique in the spirit of informing rather than merely criticizing. And please know that I'm not trying to make fun of any of these poor models, who only had the misfortune of hiring a photographer of questionable skill and/or taste.

Critique: So, what is this picture about, anyway--is it a shoe ad? Did this bride get lost in the desert and then take off her shoes to recline in the shade of a rock, fending off the vultures with her bridal bouquet? The pose is awkward--the bride looks uncomfortable (not surprisingly) and the props are distracting and compete for attention with the bride herself. Other than that, it's perfect!