Sometimes the end results can take you beyond your vision. This was one of those times. I've had a vision to create a very dramatic image of my son Elijah playing the piano for a very long time now. He loves music. Any time a song would be playing, he would stop doing whatever he was doing, and just freeze until the song stops. He sings all the time. If he's not singing he is humming a tune, or tapping his fingers on the table as though he is playing his piano.
It was so important to me to capture that connection and passion that he has for his piano and music. I wanted it to be very dramatic, yet reflect who he is as a person. I really think this session nailed it. It shows both his sweet personality and his devotion to music.
These were taken at our home, at family room where we keep his piano. The piano is located right in front of the window with beautiful deep red drapes. This provided two very important elements for this session, dramatic light and dramatic color.
Window light is one of my favorite natural light to use. If used properly it creates beautiful shadows on subjects face and body and the contrast between light and shadows can be quite dramatic.
The color of drapes, deep red, adds to the drama effect. As red often is associated with passion, this was the perfect splash of color to add to this image.
My boy was very happy to do the pictures, until he found out I wanted to make his hair crazy. He freaked out. He is so particular about his hair and the thought of anything out of the ordinary can easily set him over the edge.
Finally after twenty minutes of negotiations and promises (I promised to fix his hair right after the shoot and bribed him with cookies), he reluctantly agreed to fix up his hairdo. And I'm so glad he did. The result came out fantastic!
I used my favorite Canon 5d Mark iii camera and a Canon 50mm 1.2 lens. Both a great for low light conditions and the Canon 50mm 1.2 creates a great depth of field. One of the things I've noticed when using a very shallow depth of field, I have to be very careful if I want my subjects eyes to be tack sharp.
Usually the normal procedure would be to focus on the eye then press the shutter half way to lock it and move the camera for better composition. However, I've noticed with this lens if I move even a little bit I lose sharpness in the eye area. So I take the picture with the eye being right in the focus, and then take another of the composition I want and combine the two images in Adobe Photoshop to create a pleasant composition with my subject.
I took about 80 pictures, I always take a lot of pictures to insure sharpness, perspective, by using different angles and to ensure I have a few great images to work with.
Taking the pictures is always the easiest and the least time consuming part of this whole process. Editing the images is what takes up most of my time. Sometimes it comes easy to me and sometimes I have to play around with an images for hours before figuring out where I wanna go with it. Once I figure out the direction I want to take with images the rest of the process becomes much easier and faster.
This time it took me five hours before settling on my final editing. I already had a certain images and type of editing I wanted, but this one came out even better than I have imagined. This is one of my favorite times, when the end result is better than what you had invisioned. There were a few times where I've had just the opposite happen. I had a certain vision in mind, but no matter how long I've tried I just couldn't get it there. Fortunately it only happened with me a couple times, and I've learned that sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.
Needless to say I'm very happy with the results and can't wait to hang them up on my walls. I already have the perfect spots picked out right next to his piano. It's going to be gorgeous.
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To see more of Arina Sizemore child portraits please visit our children gallery for more images.