Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My Photoschool: Week 2 - The Teenager and the engine...

It seems that 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. 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.


This week is all about a Patience, Positivity and Playfulness.  Again, no amazing technical knowledge is needed for this - the aim is to get natural, generally unposed photos of children.

Z is 14...and the challenge for me was to get a shot of his face.  I have endless photos of him miles away in the countryside with a mop of hair over his face.



Patience was needed even when chosing timing of the shot.  He knew I intended to take some pictures of him, so when I noticed him in the garden dismantling an engine I just wandered out and started snapping.  It was nearly teatime but I grabbed my camera off the desk and got going.

Fortunately the light was good and the 50mm lens meant I didn't have to get right in his face with a big lens.  It does of course mean lots of bobbing around and changing position to get the shots I wanted...tricky given the amount of oil and engine parts around the place!



He'd been waiting for me to get the engine back to the house for months so recording the event was kinda special and I'm really enjoying seeing him using his toolbox and working things out.  The old film developing tray of oil close to the backdoor is an accident waiting to happen, but hey - at least he put it in a tray.

Most of the time he was distracted by the engine and seemed very comfortable in front of the camera.  As mentioned in the tutorial, there was no way I could treat a teenager like a little kid.  We talked about the engine and I helped to dismantle some bits and worked with him, which made the exchange very positive and relaxed.  It was actually really nice to take time out with him.  I even got a slight teenager smile.  Just a slight one - but a natural one and that's what I was trying to catch.



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