Posts Tagged ‘Caroline’

Photography: Making The Most of a Convenient Location

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

I wanted to take some photos of Caroline in her new princess dress last week, but it was dinner time and Multicultural Night at school so my timeframe for this magical photo shoot was about 7 minutes. I live on a teeny tiny lot in a city neighborhood, so meadows and forests are in short supply. We do have an empty lot across the street, but most of it has been turned into a community garden (the vegetable kind) by a church.

But the weather was warm-ish and the sun was shining and my model was cooperative, so we popped across the street to borrow their grass, figuring we would just be making the most of a convenient location.

And we found a beautiful field of crocuses!

But it wasn’t actually that magical. It was just a little square of flowers between a driveway, a dead spot, and the church’s mulch pile. Here’s the cell phone pullback shot of Caroline in the same location:

 

There are several tricks you can use to maximize a less-than-ideal location if it’s all you have to work with. I knew when we went out to shoot I would be trying to disguise the background so I choose my 85mm f/1.8 lens, which is a medium length and is good at separating the subject from their surroundings. Once we found the flowers I decided to shoot at about f/2.2 or f/2.8 so I could include a good slice of the photo in focus – I wanted to be able to get Caroline’s whole profile in focus instead of just her eyelashes, or her whole body as opposed to just a sleeve.

Here are 5 more pieces of advice to help turn a bad spot into a good spot:

  1. Light! The sun is starting to go down and partially blocked by some of those trees, which means a great glowy kind of backlight instead of harsh overhead shadows. If the sun had been coming from the opposite direction I would have shot the other way (which would have been unfortunate, because there’s pavement the other way).
  2. Work your angles. I took a lot of these photos from overhead with Caroline crouching down, which includes a lot more grass/flowers and a lot less background. You can also get super low yourself, and shoot straight across the ground – you’ll end up with fewer distracting background elements.
  3. Get close. Fill the frame with your subject instead of trying to get too much of the environment. Yes I wanted to capture the crocuses, but having her hold them or shooting the flowers on their own is a good option.
  4. Horizontal vs vertical can be your friend. I shoot horizontally 90% of the time, but in this location I didn’t have a lot of space to work with. To create some variety in my shots, I took a series of photos vertically. Sure, she was standing almost next to a dirt pile, but because the photo is narrow you can’t see it.
  5. Don’t say cheese. Almost none of these photos have Caroline looking at the camera. Instead, you’re looking at what she’s looking at – her hands, the flowers in front of her, etc. Let your subject guide the viewers eye into the foreground instead of the background.

 

If this was a client shoot instead of just a fun session for Caroline, I would have taken the extra step in ┬ápost-processing and fully removed the fence posts, dirt spots, and blue trash can from the background of a few of these. It’s not a hard fix in Photoshop, but I’ve gotten in the habit of using only Lightroom to edit my 365 photos or blog photos, just because it’s so easy.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Making the most of convenient locations

 

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My Week(334) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

No, but seriously, can it just stop being cold now? I’m tired of being cold. I don’t even care if it rains, I just want to wear flip-flips.

Sunday:

Have I mentioned we’re going to Disneyworld this summer? Don’t tell the kids, they don’t know.

At the fancy theater to see Beauty & The Beast

Lincoln attack

Monday:

Peek a boo

My tree is infested with monkeys

The face he makes when I tell him not to climb on the back of the couch

Tuesday:

Giving Everest a check-up at Toddler Tuesday

Matchy stripes

Coffee stealer

Wednesday:

SQUISH

No, you can’t come in, goodbye

Chicken pineapple party tacos were SO good

Thursday:

CHEERS

Showing off his chompers

New glasses

Friday:

Passed out

These were gross but delicious

Chatty baby

Saturday:

He’s asleep like this. Standing up.

Making her cooking video show

Finnegan did not care for being trapped in the dark

My weather app says it’s supposed to be 58 degrees and sunny tomorrow. If that’s the case I plan to spend the whole day somewhere that is NOT my couch. I’m so tired of my couch. No one likes their couch enough to spend this much time with it. It’s time to break up with my couch and start dating the stroller, the playground and the seaport.

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My Week(333) in iPhone Photos

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Not that 333 actually represents anything especially meaningful, but it does seem like a ridiculously high number of weeks to have been doing this. When I started I only had ONE KID.

Sunday:

LAND SHARK

Just a few more sink baths before he’s big enough for the real tub

Adjusting my camera, my Sigma Art is still on point

Monday:

And THIS is the grocery store I just finished terrorizing!

Make-up storage

I am officially just an armrest

Tuesday:

Snow Day waffle assistants

Doing some journaling

My husband thinks he’s funny or something

Wednesday:

Not quite spring yet

Library visit

She would have just stayed until they threw her out

Thursday:

Adorable

Linc pretending he’s a big kid

Ignoring the mess because sometimes you just have to

Friday:

Find the hidden toddler

Babies love babies

Linc took 800 photos just like this one

Saturday:

My spring banner is missing it’s flowers. Because children.

Sittin’ baby sits now

Cards and taco dip

Since today is only Friday, I’m now caught up on my weeks. I’ve started putting together stuff about our Disney trip already (the one we aren’t even going on for several more months) because I don’t want to forget all the sites I’ve found super helpful while we’re planning. But reading other people’s vacation recaps is my new favorite thing, so if you have any – or follow someone who has been to Disney and written about it – drop me a link. I could seriously read about standing in line to meet Anna and Elsa all day.

 

 

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Life

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

There isn’t much going on here right now, besides just life. Busy, messy, noisy, imperfect life.

There are no more babies coming, no super exciting new announcements or changes.

Babies are getting older. Kids are learning new things.

Most surfaces are sticky at least 73% of the time.

There is nothing picture perfect about mismatched socks and eating lunch on the floor.

These weirdos are in some sort of contest to see who drives me to break open a bottle of wine before 5 pm.

But they’re my weirdos.

And every day I’m reminded that someday they’ll be real people who are supposed to go out into the world and have their own lives.

(Seriously, buddy, I won’t be wiping your butt forever.)

And I just hope that until then I can remember that this too shall pass. The bad stuff and the good stuff. So things like Caroline’s 400 scraps of paper everywhere…

…and the crayon scribbles on every surface…

…and tiny fingers stuck into the sour cream while I’m making dinner are all going to be over way, way too soon.

I started this blog as mostly just words and more words and more words. I thought that was the best the way to document how I felt about my new life as a mother. But these days there aren’t any words. Or maybe there are too many words and I just don’t have time to find the right ones. There are SO MANY words in my daily life that I need something bigger to show, not tell, future me about these days I am sure I won’t remember. I’m so thankful I found photography.

 

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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

My husband does this thing where he sits right next to me on the couch and checks my blog. I often point out to him if he hasn’t SEEN me blogging it probably didn’t happen, because my hands are pretty full during the day. He still checks it. I mean, at least it’s nice to have a loyal reader even though I suck at updating?

Sunday:

Little boy in a big bed

Obviously very good at Sundays

Decorating their new marble jars

Monday:

There are at least 2 dozen people who had my old password saved in their phones, so this will make the new router easier for everyone

CL A M and G I F T

He is a fan of baby yogurt

Tuesday:

Toddlersplaining granola bars to me

Unsure about selfies

I call these my unicorn shoes

Wednesday:

He’s so big now

This was his 2016 computer project

 

 

I ate these too fast. I need more.

Thursday:

Cute, but such a mess

WHO WANTS TO WATCH MOANA AGAIN?

These two <3 <3

Friday:

OH HAI

Couch naps

The sunset was really pretty but I was too tired to go outside to take a picture

Saturday:

Sleeping in a closet

Superheroes vs Jedi

It felt like spring today, but the rest of the week is going back to miserable and cold. At this point, even my mega-dose of Vitamin D every day isn’t going to be able to keep me from becoming despondent. I NEED SUNSHINE AND WARMTH. I am a lizard who is going to die if I can’t warm my body naturally. Or at least I feel like one, because our heat has made the air in the house so dry my face is starting to peel off.

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