Friday, July 1, 2011

Kids' portraits - 2011

Once a year I do the kids portraits all at one time. This usually happens in the summer time since we have three spring/early summer birthdays. All the kids turn a year older relatively close together, except Clara with her December birthday. So, her portrait is always taken around her half birthday.

Two years ago, I took their portraits at different spots around our home and let them choose their own clothes. I then added text with their name, age, and the things they love on the photographs.

Last year I took their pictures on a dock at one of our favorite parks. All the portraits are composed the same way and I think it makes a very nice wall display that way.

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This year I decided to return to the same park, but I wanted to do the portraits a bit differently. We brought along a chair from my kitchen table and I thought it would be nice to let the kids sit or stand or do whatever they want on the chair. Their choices would show a bit of their personality and the repetition of the chair would emphasize their relative size differences.

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Clara, 18 months

Well, the pictures didn't go quite as I planned. We're in the middle of a drought and the beautiful park was all brown and the large pond was almost completely dried up. We ended going back in the woods for the portraits, which gives the pictures a very different feel from last year, even though they were taken at the same location.

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Augustine, 4 years

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This is a definitive personality picture. Only Gustin would choose to sit on the ground, hold a stick and make a point of not looking at the camera.

I made several technical mistakes (I wanted to kick myself more than once when I opened them up on the computer. I know better!) as well as logistical mistakes (Elizabeth's flyaway hair!). Photoshop helped but you'll notice that in several of them the focus is a bit soft. I let me shutter speeds get too slow. Sigh...

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Elizabeth, 7 years

It's also a bit of a three ring circus trying to corral four children to get their portraits. I was rushed trying to get everyone's picture taken while they were still in a relatively good mood and didn't have enough time to get the variety of shots I was hoping for.

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Jonathan, 9 years

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He looks so grown up to me in this shot!

But, despite all that I'm fairly pleased with the results. The kids' individual personalities do indeed come through in the images, which is what I was aiming for. And, thankfully, they're done for a whole another year!