After taking photos of my 3 monkeys in their jammies on New Year’s Day (that’s my new family tradition), I decided to shoot a couple minutes for fun. I say “for fun” because trying to get a shot of all 3 of my kids in the same frame where I can see everyone’s faces — and no one is crying, grimacing or leaking something icky from their face — is HARD WORK! Really. I need an entire crew to wipe drool, re-center Baby Ava, make sure no one gets injured, keep Ian focused and get Mia’s attention.
The benefit of this is it gives me big photography muscles for when I shoot other people’s kids!
So after the tiring mini-shoot of my monkeys in jammies, I turned off the lights, launched a kids game on an iPad, placed the iPad in the middle of my bed, and let the big kids have at it! They didn’t even notice I was taking photos of them.
By shooting my kids in a dark room with one small light source, the focus was entirely on their faces. And the images are “moody” because the color of the light depends on what is presented on their screen at the time of the shot.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but sometimes, my favorite is the first. My first bite, my first shot, my first time hearing a song.
This first shot is my favorite. It’s the softness of the light, the color of light, the kids’ hand positioning and their expressions.
[Specs: Nikon 24-70mm/2.8 lens, ISO 400, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, shot in manual, handheld.]
Here’s the shot right afterwards. By panning out, you get a sense of the room size and the relative grandness to the kids.
[Photography Tip: When shooting lifestyle portraits or events, it’s nice to get close-up shots of the people and the details, but it’s also important to get a shot of the area to give perspective to the event or the lifestyle shoot. Do this no matter what the lighting situation is. Even in a very dark room with fast-moving subjects, like a dance floor, keep your camera steady, drag your shutter a bit and you can get a shot of people dancing with some cool motion blur.]
[Specs: Nikon 24-70/2.8 lens, ISO 400, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/25 sec, shot in Manual, handheld.]
I love their seriousness and attentiveness. Now, if only they’d pay attention like this when I talk to them!
[Specs: Nikon 24-70/2.8 lens, ISO 400, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/20 sec, shot in Manual, handheld.]
Photography Notes & Challenge
My thought process: I knew I wanted to shoot at ISO 400, which allows for some motion and isn’t very grainy. I also knew I wanted to shoot it wide open, at f/2.8, so I’d get the full amount of light from the monitor and any details in the background would get blurred out. I only played with the focal length (though the 3 images I chose here happened to all be at 24mm) and the shutter speed.
Since I always shoot in natural light, I thought it would be a fun challenge to shoot with only artificial light that I could not control.
If you haven’t already, try this out! You can use anything: a flashlight, a cell phone, a candle, a desk lamp. It doesn’t have to be an iPad. Just find a willing participant and turn off the lights!
Whatever you shoot, always have fun!