Don’t Hurry

I once told an assistant director of a child care center, “We don’t have time to hurry.” She liked it so much she kept repeating it to me and her staff for years.

When you rush a relationship with another person bad things will likely happen. That takes longer. My goal is to guide my subjects to what I want as quickly and smoothly as possible. That means I have to work smoothly and efficiently but hurrying is not efficient.

I photographed an 11 month old girl last week that illustrates Continue reading “Don’t Hurry”

Learning to Photograph Children

What’s an f-stop?

In 1971 I heard an experienced photographer state that a new photographer should spend at least ten years working with an accredited pro before they were turned loose on the public. One of the most highly regarded wedding/portrait photographers in South Dakota claims he worked for “Gene” nine years before Gene let him take a picture.

When I heard the first comment the business I was with had a three week training program. Actually, most people didn’t make it Continue reading “Learning to Photograph Children”

Making a Baby Smile

Yesterday a four year old told me how to make his two month old sister smile. “When you smile at her it makes her smile.” That pretty much sums it up.

There are a few more things that are useful if you want to make your living making babies smile.  But, that young man had figured out the secret to making anyone smile.

When you smile at people, they smile back. Age doesn’t matter. It really is Continue reading “Making a Baby Smile”

Posing Infants with an Older Child

Over the holidays I got to see a picture of a four month old photographed with a three year old by another photographer.  Basically, the pose consisted of placing the infant between the legs of the older child and having the older child hold on.  It did not go well.  Love can hurt.

The pose is one that can start a fight Continue reading “Posing Infants with an Older Child”

A Nice Camera

You Must Have a Nice Camera

This is a comment that has annoyed many photographers.  Because it seems to imply that the photographer can only take good pictures because they have a nice camera, or that anyone could take good pictures with the “nice camera”.

A photographer should accept the comment for what it is, the speaker’s attempt to say something nice.  Be gracious.  Resist the urge Continue reading “A Nice Camera”

Hate Having Picture Taken

I Hate Having my Picture Taken!!!

These are words I frequently hear from subjects.  I respond with something like.  “Let’s fix that.”  Or even, “Oooooh!  That’s a serious neurosis.  We should start treatment right now!”

If I get into more of a conversation, I say that that is the result of clumsy photographers.  Continue reading “Hate Having Picture Taken”

Prints or digital files

I am a big fan and proponent of prints.  The most stable form of any image is a well-made print.  It will be around for hundreds of years.  I have a couple thirty year old prints on my wall that still look good.  I have a twenty year old print that was produced by my own lab and has been on continuous display.  It looks great, vivid.

You can’t say that about digital files or even Continue reading “Prints or digital files”

Oops! Did I say that?

What parent hasn’t been embarrassed by their child? But do we think about how many times we embarrass our child?  A common way is to say something about them to other people in front of them.

One of the oldest jokes in children’s photography business is the mother who brings in their child and says: “I hope you can do something with him.  Whenever he gets his picture taken he screws up his face and Continue reading “Oops! Did I say that?”