“Dad, we want pictures…but NOT a photoshoot”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/4817082188/

Friends

As I progress in the development of my photography skills I’ve found myself becoming more of a perfectionist.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I never keep or show something that I is imperfect — I’d have no images left if I were so picky.  What it does mean is that I take more care when framing and setting up a shot, more care with the light, and more care in post-processing.  I also find myself asking people, “Don’t tell anyone I took that picture” because I know I could’ve done better on many shots.

My children are painfully aware of this because I’m never happy with the family shots we take and often want to spend a bunch of time getting things “right”.  For example, even when the light is reasonable, I want to get the strobe out just in case I need to tweak the shot and add some fill…and so it goes.

So, this past Sunday my girls wanted some pictures taken with a friend who was visiting for the week.  They were in their Sunday best and thought it would be a good opportunity to get some pictures before they changed clothes.  They were very clear that they didn’t want a “photoshoot” and frankly would have been content to use the point-and-shoot to snap some quickies.

In the end we compromised.  I didn’t get the strobe and umbrella out but I did get them to allow some test shots and tweaks before taking the final shots.  I wanted to explore backgrounds around the yard but I let them pick the spot as long as they weren’t in the sun.  They got to pose themselves and I just tweaked them here and there.

Above is one of the resulting images.  If I were constrained to that background but had my way otherwise, I would have stopped down a hair to darken the background in-camera.  Then I would have added just enough strobe and/or reflectors to bring the exposure of the faces back to normal and provide some fill/catchlights in the eyes.  In reality though, this image already exceeded the expectations of the girls and that’s what really counts.  I don’t even mind telling people that I took these pictures.

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3 responses

  1. A wonderful portrait of these lovely young ladies, Michael. I’m sure your daughter and her friend will cherish this photograph.

    July 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    • Thanks, Alex. That’s what I need to remember when shooting things like this — the only thing that matters is whether they’re happy with it.

      July 22, 2010 at 11:17 am

  2. Nice one my friend. You do a great job with portraits (and other stuff too!). It’s tough being a photo-snob, ain’t it? We are always jackin’ with our stuff to get it “just right”. Well done.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

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