This is a dual-purpose post.

Purpose One:  To put up a few fairly recent pics of baby boy in response to the continued complaints of family members who feel I spend more time on pictures of other people’s kids than I do on my own.  These are from very late this fall, and pardon the hairdo – it is what we affectionately refer to as his “Children of the Corn” haircut, and yes, thankfully it’s almost grown out.  And yes, it was a mistake also.  People don’t make their beautiful children look that way on purpose.  They just don’t.

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Purpose Two:  To share tip number two for how to get better pics of your kids:  LEARN HOW TO USE NATURAL LIGHT!!!  I know, that “Learn” word is turning you off, isn’t it?  Don’t worry, it’s not going to be so bad.   Again, learning to work with natural light  is something that photographers and photography books (and photography articles) can sometimes lead you to believe is very, very difficult.  And to an extent that is true.  MASTERING natural light is tough (think Ansel Adams), but if you just want to learn a few basics, you’ll almost immediately start getting nicer pictures of your kids.    The best book (don’t let the “B” word scare you, it’s super-quick, and super easy to understand – even under the most daunting bouts of sleep-deprivation)  I’ve been able to find about natural light basics is this one by Nick Kelsh.  It focuses mostly on film, but the techniques inside can be easily applied to digital.  (Quick Disclaimer:  I never said that learning how to take better pics of your kiddos would be easy, I just said I’d try to make it as easy as possible, and this is the EASIEST book that I’ve been able to find.   In photography, there really is no “Easy Button” – you have to be willing to invest in a little learning to get what you want.)

I created the below picture using the techniques in his book, step-by-step, when my son was about 4 months old just to see if they worked with a Point & Shoot digital camera.   The below picture was taken using (honestly) a Kodak EasyShare CX7530.  I’m proud to say that it has hardly been photoshopped at all, aside from a little vignetting.    Plus, it came from a Point & Shoot Digital prior to the days of Image Stabilization.  THE secret?  Sweet, natural light, baby.   Using natural light is really the only way you can get that amazing, glowey look on skin, and regardless of what anyone tries to tell you, it is always, always prettier than using flash.    Get the book, play around, and let me know what you think!!  

zlbkodakblog

January 23, 2009 - 1:58 pm

Danea - Hi Patti,

First I want to say, I LOVE your work, you are a true inspiration!

Second, and this may sound a bit strange, but your son really puts me in mind on my own. It’s not that they look alike, cuz they really don’t. I think it must be the way you capture his expressions that remind me of Asa. Well maybe they sorta have some similar features, huh, can’t really put my finger on it but man do you have a cute kid! Hehehe.

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