Expressive child portraits. In the frame this week...
Updated: Jan 26
My favorite type of child & family photography, as ever black & white child portraits. Mixed in with rich, natural color!
Lately, I've revisited my "Frame within a Frame" series. Here are a few more...
Props, no props? What matters to me is that there is a authentic connection in the picture. I am a sucker for catch-lights in the eyes. It's a glint of mischief & fun. With catch lights come connection. With connection in a family portrait, magic can happen!
The thing about this series is how this boy is framed, literally, by a real frame - I can use this prop as a way of exploring expression. But there are other ways - MANY ways - framing can be used in child & family photography to create arresting portraits!
I like the play on shapes in the foreground & background in the frame series.
The rectangular old picture frame. The arms wrapped around his head making another rectangular frame. The house in the background. The window. The triangular turreted roof.
It's really important in my child & family photography Dublin to pay attention to the background in a picture. Background & environment can create drama & interest. Tell me something about a family, child or baby. A newborn surrounded by folded (or not folded) blankets, clothes, toys, bottles - tells a story in itself.
As well as the frame series here, I have added the picture of the little girl looking in the mirror. Much like the frame portraits, the picture also relies on the shape of the mirror as a focal point to the portrait. In the final picture, the boy is framed by the large tree filled with flowers!
A lot of what a background contributes depends on the aperture the camera is set to when taking a child or family portrait!
I love to shoot between 1.4 F for detailed portraits and around 4 F for larger groups, set slightly further away. Of course, with the wider aperture (small F stop) the background of the family picture will be more blurred. With a more narrow aperture, there will be more background in focus, & therefore the background will be more relevant. For portraits where the person - the face - is the main focus, then a wide aperture is great. When I want the background or environment to say something about the person, than I have to bring the background into sharper focus with a more narrow aperture
For much of my family photography Dublin I shoot with F2.8 which allows for some detail in the background. I feel this adds to the story, the mood & scene. That's my go to F stop!
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