For the next four weeks I'm doing my very first photo course. MyPhotoSchool approached my employers, netmums.com, looking for someone to road test David Handley's course - A Parents Guide to Photographing Your Children. I'm part of the Netmums Parent Bloggers Network so I asked if I could have a go. Even though I've earnt the odd few quid from my pics, starting with taking some food photos for Netmums and I've exhibited from time time in open exhibitions and have some pictures on permanent display, I've never had any formal training. So I was kinda nervous...
My tutor, David Handley, is winner of the Sony World Photography Award for fashion and is an established and renowned photographer, known for his ability to capture the naturalness of his subjects, combined with compositional aptitude and knowledge of natural and studio lighting.
Week 1 is all about achieving natural photographs of babies and children. David's online video taught us how to use different techniques to distract the child from the elephant in the room - or rather the camera in their face. No amazing technical knowledge is needed for this and indeed the brief was to put the camera into auto and get going.
First of all I realised that this was going to be hard. We're a very low key sort of a family and though we laugh, it's usually at stupid in jokes. Me waving props around in a way very unlike myself is probably not going to wash with my own kids, so I decided to choose an approach that suited my 11 year old. Thunderbird 2 was duly set into active service. At first he wasn't convinced, as you can see...
So - we just chatted. Laughs were had but I really can't repeat the wording here. Suffice to say that he'd watched a film with two fourteen year olds the night before and was amused by a certain scene. I just hope it's not mentioned at school...
At some point during all this the synopsis for a video was made. So, in return I had to set up the tripod and attempt a bit of filming.
J: Thank you very much for helping me Rooster
R: 'I enjoyed it - it was fun'
R Walks off
R:'I enjoyed that'
So - the pics are done in auto using a Canon 7d (I'd not actually used auto on this before) and minimal tweaking done in Lightroom (in the above pic the grass had made his face green and a smidge of cropping was done for the first and last - otherwise hands off).