Heather, Stuart, Daniel and Baby Storm

This post starts with a huge apology to Heather and Stuart for the delay in posting, it’s all been a bit manic but that’s no excuse as I took these pictures when my sister and her family stayed with us during the Commonwealth Games.  My sister is an amazing singer and was on stage at the BBC as part of their Games celebrations with the Edinburgh’s Got Soul choir

The aim of this shoot was to get some “bump” shots with Daniel (and Stuart).  It was during the really gorgeous weather so we took the shots outside to make the most of the natural light.  This first shot captures the happy family and I love the genuine smiles (and matching shirts!) on all of them.
IMG_4773

A wee retro treatment on this shot of Daniel who was delighted to get a shot of HB’s Gup “something” (not really clued up on Octonaut vehicles – sorry!) and doctor’s set.  I quite like this treatment when there are brightly coloured toys that can be quite distracting and it also worked well with the stones.

IMG_4779

Think this one speaks for itself.

IMG_4782

Now it’s time for the obligatory black and white versus colour comparison, not sure which one I prefer.  Heather’s smile is lovely in this one but they do highlight the need to be aware of where clothes line is!

IMG_4808

IMG_4808-2

Grandpa was also visiting and we grabbed this shot (no pun intended) of Daniel with his Dad and Grandpa.  Again big smiles make this shot.

IMG_4816

I love this shot of Heather with our Dad, he looks so proud.

IMG_4821

I love this shot of Daniel even though he looks sort of sad, hopefully mum and dad will agree?

IMG_4844

Daniel and HB had great fun over the weekend and this snap of them sitting on HB’s wee bench captures how well they get on.

IMG_4849

And finally Daniel looking chuffed.  He really has a lovely expressive face and I’m not saying that as the biased auntie – honest!

IMG_4862

 

Main learning point from this shoot – don’t delay processing!  The longer it was dragging on the more it became a daunting task and it shouldn’t be as I find taking photos very therapeutic.  Also be aware of the background, I was moving around but the clothes line and pole was a distraction.

Many thanks to Heather, Stuart, Daniel and baby Storm for being such good subjects and thanks to Matthew and my Dad for holding the flash and umbrella.

Hopefully first shots of baby Storm will follow soon – but not too soon!

Callum

A couple of weekends ago I met the gorgeous baby Callum for the first time at his Nana’s house.  He is HB’s second cousin (I think that’s right) and she was very excited to meet him.  The first shot is of the proud mum and dad (Claire and Ciaran) and a somewhat surprised looking Callum, I love the contrasting expressions.

IMG_4619

Here is one of Ciaran with Callum giving his best “awww daaaaaad” expression.

IMG_4624

Another of the lovely family, again I really like this shot but it highlights that baby’s will do what they do and this is rarely look at the camera!  As is my usual style I couldn’t decide if I preferred colour or black and white so I have included both for comparison.

IMG_4636

IMG_4636-2

Rain called off the evening garden shoot so I had another go the next morning.  Callum was very relaxed and loving being cuddled and getting some sleep.  Here he is snuggled into his dad.

IMG_4652

Another couple of a very contented Callum sleeping on his Dad.

IMG_4659

IMG_4663

Callum however, is nothing if not fair and he then graciously allowed his mum to hold him as he slept some more.  He was seriously contented at this stage.

IMG_4667

IMG_4672

This final shot was part of some with Callum lying on a blanket on the floor, I really like the perspective of this one and is expression is great.

IMG_4676

The main learning point from this shoot is don’t always trust automatic ISO on the camera.  A lot of the shots unfortunately were blurry despite what should have been an appropriate aperture (I usually stick to aperture priority mode).  This highlights that I should probably start to use the other setting and maybe even (gulp) manual! It’s very easy to stick to what you’re comfortable with and if I really want to progress as a photographer I will need to push myself further (and take more photos).  Thanks to Matthew for being the flash/umbrella holder  as we swapped roles for this shoot.

Many thanks to Claire, Ciaran and Callum for being very patient and allowing me to photograph them and to Nana (Linda) for being such a fantastic host.

Blair and Brodie

After a seriously long break I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph Blair and Brodie.  I photographed Blair when he was 15 months old and he is now nearly 3 and the very proud big brother of Brodie, his incredibly cute 6 month old sister.

Brodie is one of the most cheerful, laid back babies I have ever met and she took being photographed in her stride.  The first two are Brodie at the start of the shoot showing how much she loves “tummy time”.  I am still having my ongoing battle with colour versus monochrome, so here’s one of each.

IMG_3254

IMG_3271

This next shot was my attempt at getting Blair and Brodie together.  Turns our I was right to be nervous about trying to get not one but two little ones in focus at the same time! I really like the contrast between Blair’s serious face and Brodie’s smiles.

IMG_3282

Now Blair looking very relaxed and confident in a “I’ve done this before” kind of a way.

IMG_3309

At this point Blair decided that as he had done this before he would bow out and let Brodie take centre stage.  I love Brodie’s expression in this one and the tilt effect that I managed to put on by accident and still don’t know how I did it – probably shouldn’t admit that but oh well!

IMG_3362

Again, great expressions from Brodie as she smiles up at her mum.  The empty space in the first one works and I have managed to follow the rule of “thirds” so I must be learning something.

IMG_3364

IMG_3370

Brodie and Blair were great fun and very easy to work with but today has been a very clear wake up call that if I want to improve I must make the time to do more shoots.

Thanks to Blair, Brodie and Lorna for giving up their time for this today.

 

Alasdair

On Tuesday this week Alison and Alasdair came round as I try and squeeze in another couple of shoots before I go back to work.  Alasdair is a very laid back wee boy with a lovely open face and smile that just lights him up.  This was the first shot of the day and I really like the directness of this shot.  Monochrome again – sorry!

This shot is of Alasdair having a go a sitting up with the obligatory cushions behind him – “just in case”.  His bright eyes are really evident here and he is looking up at his Mum.  I know I shouldn’t say this as I have a wee girl but I love the outfits for wee boys, this polo shirt is so cute!  Matthew got a new background but although much easier to work with I didn’t iron it very well so I was still contending with crunkly background syndrome and aged photo treatment helped here.

Alasdair concentrating, not really sure why but high contrast B&W worked so much better for this shot.  Alsadair looks like quite the wee lad here and he is a wee bit of a ladies man as until very recently he was the only boy at baby group.

First colour shot of Alasdair, he does earnest very well.

Alasdair looking very thoughful.  A lot of square crops to reduce background effect.

A great shot showing how good Alasdair is at tummy time.  Again, his face has a great inquisitive expression,

Alasdair in the playnest with the must have baby toy of “Freddie the Firefly”.  Babies do love to chew.  Alasdair is sporting two very cute wee teeth and all the signs are that more will follow soon!

Oh if only we were always this flexible!  This shot is following a change into Alasdair’s lovely wee christening outfit.  It was a cool wee kilt and I did try to get some full length shots but Alasdair wasn’t for keeping his legs (and therefore the kilt) down long enough! You do get to see the fab shoes though!

The sun picked up a bit so the light improved and Alasdair got more used to me and the big camera as time went on.  There’s something about his expression here that makes you want to know what he’s thinking.

The light in his eyes is magical here and I tried it in colour but the monochrome just worked here.

Big smiles here and first glimpse of the teeth.  A really bright expression and I think this may be one of my favourites.

Final shot is more of a snap showing Alasdair chilling out after a hard photo shoot.

I’ve had a lot of fun doing these shoots and I’m now starting to think of how I can move forward.  One way may be to try more natural settings without the backdrop and possibly not at my house.  One other are is the multiple children shoots as I am aware that f1.8 won’t work on these shots so they would certainly challenge me.

Anyway the first challenge will be to try and keep this up to some extent once I’m working full time again.

Thanks to Alasdair and Alison for giving up their afternoon for this and I hope you like the shots.

 

Mairi-Ella

Today Izzy and Mairi-Ella came round for some lunch followed by a wee photo shoot.  First learning point, either time it so it’s photos first then lunch, or strip baby prior to eating, or put them in a different outfit from the one you would like them to be photographed in! Mairi-Ella is a lovely, smiley wee baby and she is the only baby I know who is (nearly) as loud as Hannah when happy!  She is also a very accomplished crawler and at 8 months this is very impressive!

This first picture shows Mairi-Ella’s lovely smile and she is a millisecond away from crawling out of the shot!  Interestingly Mairi-Ella was very comfortable in front of the camera, in fact she was a right wee poser (as she should be as she is very cute)! Her mum and dad use an SLR camera and I wonder if this is why she is so comfortable in front of the lens.

Second shot and I’ve gone back to the dark side, well the monochrome side but it seems to pull me to it like a black hole!  Similar to a shot of Hannah in my last post this helps to reduce the impact of the half background/half sofa effect.  I’m starting to wonder if I should continue to persevere with a backdrop as I always end up at the wrong angle as I follow the baby in question around the room.  Anyway, I really like this direct shot and Mairi-Ella’s smile and eyes are apparent.

I really like this shot as I like the natural light from the patio doors on Mairi-Ella.  I had also converted this to B&W but when I looked at the shots in a slideshow I preferred the colour shot so maybe there’s hope for me yet!  This shoot I was very aware of the flash and switched the strength of it right down and I think it has helped.  However, it did highlight that I am like a learner driver who has just got to grips with driving in a straight line and is then told to turn a corner and in their panic to do that they forget how to drive straight (think that makes sense).  I am still only able to focus on one aspect at a time and I was so focussed on the light I would forget about my aperture settings which I am usually quite good with.  Hopefully I will pass my test at some point!

Mairi-Ella in one of the standard props – the playnest.  Here she is showing off her lovely teeth.  The weather was just as crazy as it has been lately and would change between rain and bright sun within a 5 second time period.  This time the natural light was really strong due to direct sunlight so antique light worked better than colour.

Mairi-Ella concentrating as she tries to climb out the play nest.   Like previous shoots I have used a graduated filter to remove the creased background.

Aged photo effect works well with this shot to mute all the colours in the play nest and I love the mischievous look in Mairi-Ella’s eyes.

A dreamy shot here of Mairi-Ella with her doll.  I like the shallow depth of field here with the blurred toy in the background but as like most baby toys it is really brightly coloured I opted for aged photo again as I felt it complimented the old style dolly.

The next two shots I find interesting as rather than just having one in colour and one in B&W I found that each colour treatment suited a different crop, mainly due to the background.  Again I think I actually prefer the colour shot but there is something about the B&W shot that appeals to me too, I think it is the brightness in the eyes.

 

A similar shot to those above and as a result I nearly didn’t include it.  However, I like the lowered gaze of this and the natural light has altered again to create a slightly different effect.

Mairi-Ella and Izzy cuddling in close as Mairi-Ella sits on Stanley.  Mairi-Ella was not original and she immediately sooked him like all the others have! Poor Stanley!

 

Mairi-Ella lost in her own wee world as she plays with some wooden toys.  Again colours have been muted so that the toy is a feature but it doesn’t distract from Mairi-Ella.

A close up and here you can see how long Mairi-Ella’s eyelashes are.  Monochrome used to highlight the eyelashes.

Another even more apparent eyelash shot using high contrast B&W.

The last two shot are snaps really to show Hannah and Mairi-Ella together.  It was virtually impossible to get both to look up and be in focus but as they get along really well I thought it would be nice to include a couple but they certainly wouldn’t be of a quality to print in large format.  It also captures a bit of the mayhem – there were toys everywhere!

 

 

Thanks to Izzy and Mairi-Ella for giving up their Tuesday for this, Hannah and I both had a lot of fun and we hope you liked the photos!