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Archive for the ‘Imagination’ Category

“You’re The Hope of Tomorrow”

When I was a young boy, my father was fond of saying, “You’re the hope of tomorrow.” This always made me uncomfortable. I just wanted to be a kid! What was he expecting me to do? Would I disappoint him? Now, a few decades later, I have a different slant on my dad’s expression.

Recently, I’ve had wonderful shoots with young children. At Waveny Park in New Canaan, in the late fall, I photographed two brothers, Ben (age 3) and Zach (age 1 1/2). Last week, in my studio, I shot two sisters, Lucy (age 5) and Clara (age 2 1/2).

I’ve had the privilege of working with both sets of children before. It’s fun to watch them grow and change – and change pretty rapidly at these young ages.

When I photograph an adult, say, for headshots for social media, the shoot tends to be fairly orderly and serene. I can suggest, “Drop your chin just a bit – a half an inch or so.” With kids, of course, you work with what they give you. The spontaneity and fun of these shoots is actually very good for me. Kids help me to go with the flow of the moment. I shoot a lot of pictures and the “keepers” happen when you least expect them.

Occasionally a kid has a meltdown. (It’s never happened with any of these four, of course.) This doesn’t bother me in the least. We’ll take a break, maybe look for a new toy of theirs or mine, and wait for a better moment – which usually happens pretty quickly.

In photographing children, there’s a lot to be said for using a light hand – just waiting for the precious moment and not trying to plan it or pose the kids. More and more, I’m taking the same approach when shooting adults – and it’s working.

When I take pictures of kids, I often try to imagine what the world will be like when they grow up. These four kids will start college in the years 2026 to 2031. What kind of world will we have then? How will these young people shape the world they inhabit? The year that ends today has been difficult and heartbreaking for so many people. And yet, somehow, I am optimistic about the future. With terrific kids coming along like these four, the future is bright.  Ben, Lucy, Zach and Clara are bursting with energy, enthusiasm, smarts, joy and love. Although I won’t say it to them, I believe this for each of them: You’re the Hope of Tomorrow.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

 

 

 

 

 

Jacqueline’s Dream

I’ve had the idea for “Jacqueline’s Dream” for some time. I just needed to find Jacqueline!

As I didn’t know any 8-year old girls, I asked my friend Sara, the mother of boys in this age range, and Sara immediately suggested Jacqueline. I’m so glad she did – Jacqueline was perfect! She came to the studio with her mom and was an enthusiastic and engaging model.

To see a larger version of this image, click Jacqueline’s Dream and then click the “slideshow” button in the top right.

The image took a lot of work and is a composite of six different photographs. Let me tell you how I put it together.

First, the easy part. I bought a stock image, of the field, sky and clouds. This was the background, and in Photoshop, I cut out the other five images and laid them on top. You can think of cutting out pictures from a magazine and pasting them on top of another picture. The “cutting,” called compositing, is very tricky in Photoshop, to get clean and realistic edges.

I did make some changes in the background image, principally cutting down the intensity of the color, so it would fit better with the other images.

 

All the images of Jacqueline were shot in the studio.

To the right, she is lying on her “bed,” a table with a sheet on it. Jacqueline’s fuzzy pajama pants are apparently all the rage with the 8-year old set.  I purposely used a white background, knowing this would help with making a clean edge to fit on top of the background. The image shown here is the unedited picture. I did a lot of work on it – even small things like fixing the eyes of the teddy bear.

We did the shoot the day before Easter, and Jacqueline brought her lovely new yellow Easter dress. (With all the jumping, I’m relieved we are able to keep it clean and neat!)

For these jumping  images, I shot her on a blue paper background, to make fitting her into the blue sky a bit easier. Jacqueline’s mom was just to camera left, holding a strong fan, which provided some nice wind movement in her hair and dress. We shot about 30 images of jumping and chose 4 for the final picture.

Jacqueline had come from a soccer game that morning and had a bandage on her knee from the game. We took the bandage off for the pictures and had a bit of editing to do to remove the knee scrape from the images. After the last picture was taken, the bandage went  back on. Mom reported that Jacqueline was a star of the soccer  game – “I stopped counting after she scored 11 goals.” “Wow!” I exclaimed, “Your team must have won the game, Jacqueline!” This dear sweet girl remarked, very calmly, “We creamed them.”

For the Darien Art Show, I made up a large metal (aluminum) print, 36 inches by 21 inches. Jacqueline and her whole family came to the opening of the show last night. Here she is, next to “Jacqueline’s Dream.”

Thank-you, Jacqueline, for being such a lovely and wonderful model!

Is there a composite image that might be fun to do with your 8-year old – or your child of any age? Or you?

If so, let’s talk!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

Tips for Composing Your Photographs

 

 

 

 

This week, I had planned to write a blog post on the composition of pictures. Then, I came across this article on the web, which I thought was terrific. So, no need to reinvent the wheel!

Hope this is helpful. And, if I can assist you with your personal photography in any way, please call on me.

Tips for Composition.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.