In which i went back to the drawing board

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

I took this photo from a series back in the beginning of the Summer that marked a turning point for me in terms of how i approached children's portraits. I'd received a lukewarm response to a children's shoot I'd done for a friend and then shortly thereafter my sister came round excited about dropping £1400 on a Venture portrait session and a large framed picture. Great not even my own sister would hire me. Cue a deep photography funk in which I contemplated trading in my camera gear for an Alexander Wang handbag.

Instead I told myself my style wasn't their taste and that's okay. Then I picked myself up and went back to the drawing board. You see despite taking literally hundreds (and may be closer to thousands!) of photos of my own children, I'd never really thought about children's portraiture. With images of cool engagement shoots and couples portraits swirling through my head I'd take Leila out to practice honing my camera skills.

The thing is, i get asked mostly if I could take photos of children. Which is why when my friend asked if I wanted to take some photos of her adorable kids I couldn't pass up the chance, they are gorgeous! So I took everything I'd had practised like wide angled environmental portraits and cool urban backgrounds and thought I'd have it in the bag.

I sat back and contemplated the aforementioned shoot and whilst I liked the candid shots of the kids playing together, the photos that evoked the best response and, of the set would be the most likely to be framed on a wall, were the close up shots. What's that Robert Capa saying -"if your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough" - ah i get it now, I need to get physically closer - to become more involved and engaged with my subjects. Okay, so there's a starting point. Then I poured over endless photos of children's portrait photography thinking about what resonated in me, what elements did I love and what didn't I like so much.

So this was my first true attempt at Children's Portraits! Sure I'm not there yet by any means but every journey starts with a first step and I'll get there eventually.

Credit to these truly talented photographers who inspired me on my children's portrait discovery...
Nadia Swindell, Simplicity Photography, Jinky Art, ReverieClicks by Fer.

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