As a photographer who runs a business, I want my clients to be happy, so I shuffle through the hundreds upon hundreds of images I take at each photoshoot to find the perfect images for their gallery. (Okay, it’s more like thousand upon thousands! I shoot freely because I don’t want to miss a shot, which can happen when you’re shooting kids and you’re waiting for that “perfect” shot. Also, I like to play around with angles, light and movement. Most of my lifestyle shoots result in one- to two-thousand images.)
As an artist, I also keep the images that “speak to me”… the ones that make me look at it longer. They are usually not the ones where subjects are looking at me and smiling, but the ones that form an emotion within me or make me think. I love those images. I thought I’d give you a few examples of this, so you can see what I am talking about. These images aren’t always images that all photographers would keep in their client galleries.
Is This Good Light or Poor Light?
FYI: In this shot, I only used natural light; no reflectors or lighting equipment. The image is straight-out-of-the-camera; no post-processing.
I love how only half of Sophia’s body is lit, but some would say this is poor lighting because you can’t see her entire face. To me, the dramatic light and high contrast point out her facial features more than if she was evenly lit. You now notice her little tongue saying hello and her beautiful eyes (okay, “eye” singular!)
Expression Trumps “Perfection”
In my original F. Family’s sneak peek, I posted a version of this shot, but all the letters were upright.
This shot below can be viewed by some as being “imperfect”: The “N” is blurry from Lucas moving it and you don’t really see much of the “O” and “E”!
However, what you also see are the adorable and somewhat humorous expressions on the triplet’s faces! And what each baby did or didn’t do with their respective letter shows us their personalities! Sophia has her foot through the “O” and she was playing with her shoe; Lucas loves his “N” and kept rotating it, so he could better gnaw on the corners; and Alivia didn’t care for the “E”, but wanted a ball instead!
Sharp Isn’t Always Better
At first glance, I almost didn’t put this image in the client’s gallery because it wasn’t a sharp image. Thankfully, I stopped and looked at it again.
Here, Uncle Paulie was playing with Lucas between a location and wardrobe change. He picked up Lucas and blew zerberts on his cheek, and Lucas just burst out into rolling laughter!
We were indoors (so there was low light) and this was a fleeting moment in time. Hence, the somewhat blurry image. But this not-so-sharp image tells a story. And the motion blur helps tell it.
So next time you take a shot that doesn’t look “perfect”, look at it again. You may be surprised at what you see!