February 3, 2013

The making of a Dad-tographer

Before Nicki was born I have been the sole photographer in the family. Domingo didn’t even know how to take off the lens cap (or, as he claimed, he knew how but didn’t want to for fear of accidentally damaging my camera.) Now we trade off, so we can have some mommy/daughter photos. Last night I handed Domingo my camera to take some photos of bath time in my never ending quest to have more photos of Nicki.

This was the fifth image on my camera.

Simply amazing. Is that not the best photo of Nicki?

Those eyes are stunning, and just draw your attention into them. The way the baby’s face is perfectly in focus while everything else is slightly out of focus. The lighting, the composition, every aspect of the photo work so well together. The tender way her hand is reaching back to my arm… I mean WOW. It is just perfect.

A close up of her face. I melt.

So how did he do it? How did he go from ‘where’s the shutter button?’ to taking breathtaking photo of Nicki in six months? Here are some tips if you, like us, have one photographer and one non photographer in the house.

Adjust The Camera Settings Yourself – This tip comes from a travel advice forum: If you want someone to take a photo with your camera, configure all the settings in advance. That way the good samaritan taking your photo only needs to push the shutter button and you get the photo you want. When I was drawing the bath I set f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed. That way, all Domingo had to worry about was point and click.

Show The Other Person What You Want – Take a couple similar photos and show the other person what it is you’re looking for. Sometimes it’s easier to understand what someone is asking for when you can see an example. Over the past few months I would take a photo with Domingo and the baby, then ask him to take a similar one with me and the baby. They photos would differ, of course. Maybe mine would have a tighter crop, or be angled differently. Gradually over time Domingo’s composition began to match mine.

Encourage The Other Person to be Trigger Happy – The key is lots of photos, lots of angles. One difference between a beginner photographer and an expert is the number of photos you take. Encourage the other person to experiment: take a few photos standing, try kneeling, maybe head on, next from the side. Digital memory is cheap and the best way to learn is with practice. There are no bad photos, but maybe lots of ‘practice’ ones!

Of course, when there’s a baby, there’s always an element of luck. Relax, there’s always another day.

I have to up my game or I might lose the job of family photographer!

Posted in Family Life, Photography | Tags: ,



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