The Official Assignment I will be telling the story of the wedding in a unique way, through a childs eyes. My fifteen month nephew, Leo, to be precise. Creating photos that depict a different point of view is going to be a challenge but I’m really looking forward to it. Instead of including my nephew in the photos I want it to look like it really is through his eyes. You can see all the planning stage under Assignment Five.
Cover Star This photo hasn’t been included to protect my nephews identity.
The photo for the cover of the magazine really needed to illustrate the whole narrative of the following story. Initially I wanted just a close up of Leo’s eyes but it seemed rather static in a pillar box style without anything else around it. I knew Leo was coming to the house in a few days so I researched through my portrait photography books. I crouched down at Leo’s eye level so the photo was therefore more an insight into his world, using a wide aperture to blur out any distracting backgrounds with a telephoto lens. I set up everything while he was running around playing with the bubbles. I called his name suddenly and he stared right at me and reached for the camera. I love this photo because of the eye contact and the expression on his face. Also the colours of the blue and orange work well orange being the most powerful so therefore drawing your eyes inwards. I could have edited out his bib but I wanted to keep it natural and this reinforces his age. The lighting was softly diffused from above with natural light ensuring there were no harsh shadows or blown out highlights. I read that catchlights in the eyes instantly create depth and dimension and bring a portrait photo to life so positioned the light correctly. I was also considering taking a photo where Leo was looking out of the frame especially as I was researching Dorothea Lange’s infamous Migrant Mother photo. One of the powerful things about that incredible image is the fact that the mother isn’t staring directly at the camera but instead to the side. This creates mystery and questions but I felt for the purpose of this story, having Leo staring at the camera created the power of eye contact so you really felt you were staring into his soul.
This shoot changed slightly, instead of Leo’s parents I used my Dad, so it’s a bonding moment between Granddad and Grandson. I shot this photo lying on the floor at the accommodation. Originally the window was open but that cast harsh light and shadows onto the models face. I closed the curtains and instantly the room was filled with soft warm diffused light filtering through the curtains. This cast a pinkish hue in the overall photo which really adds to the sleepy feeling of having just woken up, also in harmony with the purple tie. The image was shot just before noon but the soft light replicates it as early morning. I shot it at a slight angle to bring in dynamism with the diagonals of the frame and his arms.
In wedding photography, the photo that is always included is the dress, whether hanging up in front of a window or laid on the bed it’s an unmissable photo. And the same applies for Leo getting ready for the wedding. Including the lines of the cot create an impression of Leo peering through the cot bars and thinking what is that? The teddy is included to reinforce the child’s viewpoint. I like how the cot bars cast diagonals leading to the outfit, positioned centrally in a bulls eye composition. I thought this would be more dramatic and with the symmetry of the cot bars I think this worked. The light came from overhead creating the shadow of the bars and also reinforcing the feeling of him looking through into the cot. These lines also serve to draw the eye in.They also draw on the study of symbols, including three elements to represent childhood, the cot, his outfit and the teddy in the cot. That was the challenge of this assignment, using symbols, juxtaposition and viewpoints to illustrate that it is through a child’s eyes.
I checked out the venue a day earlier to double check lighting and camera settings. I hadn’t expected the church to have such a grand and powerful ceiling. This fitted in perfectly for my shooting plan. I needed to be low to the ground to reinforce the feeling of height so lay flat in the aisle – luckily the church was empty – I was in awe of the ceiling and knew Leo would be too. I knew I had to include the whole church in and have it fill a whole page to enhance the majesty of it. All the elements here from the floor and Dad in the distance work well together to give an impression of height. The converging verticals also bring drama to this image and you can feel how Leo has sat in the aisle just gazing up at the ceiling in awe.
I watched my nephew in the service and saw that he was playing peek a boo behind the pews .He also kept staring at the ceiling. I shot this photo so while the bride and groom are included it’s clear his attention is more focused on the massive ceiling. I brought back some of the detail from the windows which had been blown out. The Car. One thing boys like are cars and Leo is no exception. I crouched down on the ground framing the car against the church. The sunny blue day didn’t cause as many harsh shadows as I’d been expecting. I was able to get this photo with the sun causing a warm cast. The blue makes the image, bold and powerful.
This was a lucky shot. Everyone was crowded around the bride and groom and being quite small it was hard to see. I knew I wasn’t going to get the photo if I didn’t take a risk. I held my camera as high as I could above the crowd, using the flip out screen to set the composition. Perhaps not very professional but you don’t get anywhere without taking risks. I used the tilt/shift setting in camera to hone the attention in on the bride and groom and also to show the way in which Leo sees the world, one big toy, a theme reiterated throughout the photos. The final image shows how Leo is sitting on his Grandad’s shoulders towering above them all. I also love the heart shaped negative space in the arch
I took this photo the day after the wedding, I wanted to have the time to search the location and take many different shots. I’m pleased I did as we drove slightly down the road we found this river running alongside the venue. Standing near the water I spotted the venues reflection in the water. This was perfect as not only was it a different photo of the venue yet at the same time it showed how Leo’s mind is different to a standard viewing of the venue, it went well with the juxtaposition exercise, showing something in a unique and creative way. Also a bit like Sam Taylor Wood in mind who strays away from the conventional to capture images that are different to what is expected. I rotated the image so the photo seems slightly surrealistic. The life ring standing on the bank adds a splash of red colour, the most powerful of the colours, drawing the attention to the reflection surrounded in a verdant green calmness. When the image is rotated back to normal you can see how the shot was taken. I was practically upside down for this photo, a position that children often view the world.
This was the image that I had planned in my mind from the beginning. The apple cake arrived looking delicious. I held the camera at Leo’s height level and shot, including the table to show how Leo is peering over staring at the delicious food. I used a wide aperture to throw the foreground and background out of focus. Though I wish the focus was a little sharper on the cake I’ve used it to show how Leo is feeling sleepy as the night goes on. A high ISO was used because of the low lighting which contributed to a higher level of noise. I like the pink/purple tint which is related to the earlier photo, the purple and pink lighting reflecting early morning and night both associated with sleep. I just wish the focus was stronger.
Leo falls asleep in the car. I photographed this of the Blackpool illuminations through the car window. As luck would have it it was pouring down with rain and we parked up so the windscreen could be completely obscured. I focused on the rain so the lights were blurred to a dreamy bokeh. It was exactly how I’d pictured it in the planning stage. This concludes his day and can be taken in terms of him falling asleep or even as he starts to dream.
Time for Bed Leo.
When we got back to the house the light was fading fast but as I was watching the sunset I loved the effect of lighting. I got Dad to lean out of the door, similar to the first shot, to show how the day had come full circle. He held his arms out and I lay on the floor to enhance the angle and size as Leo stares up. You can almost feel him saying “It’s time for bed, Leo.” the typical ending to a children’s book. Well that’s the course official completed, I just have some exercises I haven’t uploaded yet. It’s been a whirlwind of cameras, creativeness and the best time ever. I have loved almost every minute (not the ones where the camera refused to work or the set up fell down) I have just had the most fantastic time.