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Art_Wright
08-11-2007, 06:36 PM
Six-month old Mackenzie, our first Year in the Life client. Working title is:

"Curly Blue"


http://www.ajwphoto.com/images/Misc/Mackenzie%20competition%201.jpglue"

D._Craig_Flory
08-11-2007, 08:32 PM
Hi Art;

You are headed in the right direction. The big problem with this presentation is the head size. In a competition 16X20, you will have about a 7" head which is way too big. Kids need to be portrayed size proportional ... "kids need room to grow" in an image. I hope my version helps.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i93/DC47/Mackenzie20competition201Sized.jpg

Jeff_Dachowski
08-12-2007, 12:36 AM
Art,
although Craigs points are correct, proper head size would not bring this into the merit category IMHO. That is not to say that the client didn't love it, or that it is not a saleable image. The biggest obstacle for me is the lighting. It is lit for an everyday type of session. If you notice the images that score well, or merit are typically images with lighting that is what I call once in a lifetime type lighting.
The white clothing on the dark background make it a tough sell as well. Don't be discouraged, keep trying. Let see something else!!!!
Jeff

andiegoodman
08-12-2007, 05:31 AM
IMHO, the title does not match the image - the judges would be looking for something curly and blue. Something like "Who, me?" fits the image. When you have someone as adorable, try photographing for the client and for you. Flat lighting like this is a very hard sell in competition. Keep posting images, it is a great way to learn.

Jackie_Haggerty
08-12-2007, 05:40 AM
Art-

I have to agree with my collegues, though I wanted to tell you that when I saw this image, I immediately started singing the song about the "Lollipop Guild" from the Wizard of Oz!! TOOO FUNNY!!! I love the image- hope the client did too!

Mark_Levesque
08-12-2007, 05:56 AM
OMG. I had the same reaction. Not the singing part, but the Wizard of Oz connection.

Linda_Gregory
08-12-2007, 03:55 PM
I just thought of Kewpi dolls.

Darling expression.

D._Craig_Flory
08-12-2007, 04:42 PM
Hi Art;

I do agree that this will not merit, I still think you should enter it in your state and / or sub-state prof. photog. association. If you get a white, or a red, ribbon it will please your client. And, you can give a news release to the local paper too. Plus you can compare the image to others that scored better.

Art_Wright
08-12-2007, 06:21 PM
Thanks for all of your replies. My question to you all is how do you concentrate on lighting ratios with a squiriming six-month old, and both parents trying to get the little darling to smile, from sometimes conflicting directions (despite my fervent plea to stop!). I was lucky to get this keyed from the right direction, and to get the catchlights...

Linda_Gregory
08-12-2007, 06:24 PM
Art,

Therein lies the merit!

Sorry, do NOT mean to be flippant but one of the first things I learned about comp prints was the level of difficulty does not come into play.

I'll let others give you their methods for containing child photography.

Art_Wright
08-12-2007, 06:59 PM
Well, I'm shooting this baby in two more months (our first Year in the Life client), and for this sitting, the parents are going to be banished from the camera room (starbucks gift card, maybe - they are friends of ours - my wife was the mom's MOH)...

Don_Chick
08-12-2007, 08:08 PM
My question to you all is how do you concentrate on lighting ratios with a squiriming six-month old?

You don't!

Going into a young child session with the attitude of creating an "award wining photograph" has got to be the ultimate stress idea. You cannot tell a child what to do, some are not old enough to understand, some will just do the opposite. I approach the session with the attitude that I am going to create beautiful images for the parents, then if I happen to get something for competition, great!

Your knowledge of your craft must be second nature when in the session to create the proper ratios, lighting patterns on the face, etc. You can't have your mind on the equipment, parents, & subject all the while with the attitude "I must get something for competition". Remember Obi Wan's comment to Luke right before he got in line to blow up the death star, "Let go, Luke"

Finally, it appears that you are using something that's creating a "hard" source of light for the main (small light source or parabolic perhaps?). If you used a large soffbox you would find the lighting much easier to manage, especially for a child. I never have to worry about a nose shadow with my 4x6. I do; however, have to worry if the light is to low or to high....

KirkDarling
08-12-2007, 10:37 PM
Art, I love the picture. I agree with the others that it would probably not merit in competition--but competition is a peculiar thing that overlaps salability but doesn't indicate salability.

I think the parents will adore it. In fact, there is a baby food or baby supply company that would wrap it around a package and put a million copies on stores around the world. It has that kind of adorability.

Art_Wright
08-12-2007, 11:21 PM
Thanks, Don and Kirk! A friend of mine told me that this image captures the child's personality; isn't that what we are after as portrait photographers? The mother is trying to find a way to financially get Mackenzie into an agency, as she has that kind of talent. This wasn't even a good day for her; she was teething and not happy most of the day...

Art_Wright
08-12-2007, 11:35 PM
Yes, Don; I had my snoot extended for the tightest beam as the main light. I was trying for some Hurrell style fashion with this little angel...

D._Craig_Flory
08-13-2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks for all of your replies. My question to you all is how do you concentrate on lighting ratios with a squiriming six-month old, and both parents trying to get the little darling to smile, from sometimes conflicting directions (despite my fervent plea to stop!). I was lucky to get this keyed from the right direction, and to get the catchlights...

Hi Art;

Look at your image. If you had simply either moved yourself Or had a parent to your left (the right of the baby) and gotten the baby to look that way you would have #1 had short lighting #2 had less whites of the eyes ... the face would have turned thereby having the eyes facing the same way as the nose. So, you can control the lighting simply by controling where they look.

Also, with babies and pets: you need to use a smaller closed down aperature so you get more depth of focus and also back up with the camera. That way, if they move you still have them in focus and didn't lose part of their body.

Stan_Lawrence
08-13-2007, 03:28 PM
"both parents trying to get the little darling to smile, from sometimes conflicting directions (despite my fervent plea to stop!)"

One way you can prevent this is to stop taking pictures....put your hands down off the camera and smile at the mom....when she realizes something is wrong, gently explain that all the input (mom, dad, photog) is confusing the child. Ask her to allow you a few minutes to get the expression, if that doesn't work you'll ask her to help. Almost always worked for me.....

Art_Wright
08-13-2007, 03:34 PM
Thanks, Stan! Mom's have the best of intentions...:)