Shop Talk – Joy {Minneapolis Children’s Photographer}

The bubble gum flavor was not unpleasant. It smelled like Bella. And as I was brushing my teeth, I was happily thinking about how grateful I was that when I ran out of my own toothpaste, I had Bella’s pink princess bubble gum toothpaste to fall back on. I love these small joys in my life.

And then I realized something about my photography. About how much joy and gratitude play a role in it. About how, if you cannot find joys in the simplicity of life, you cannot capture them with your camera.

You see, I am a joy junkie. In my shoots, I want to find that joy. I want to get that moment when you let down your guard and let me in and share with me. I crave that.

And I believe that for you to do well with photography {or your other ventures}, you will also need to seek out that joy. You will need to appreciate the small gifts and be patient enough to wait for the big ones. Once you are able to do that, you can relax and let yourself feel those moments. It is hard to describe this feeling, but try it sometime. Try to feel the joys in the task in front of you and I think that your work will change. And so might your life {big statement to throw in at the end of a paragraph, I know}.

I know that you may want some technical advice by now in these shop talks. You know, talk about lenses and light and Photoshop and printing, but that will have to wait for now. Because while these things are incredibly important, learning how to not worry about them is important too.

And just to share two of my joys with you, here are Bella and Abe. Can you feel their joy?

How I got this shot? This is called “panning” and is all about your shutter speed {and patience}. I first determined the correct shutter speed for how much background movement I wanted. Too fast a shutter speed, and the background would not show enough blur. Too slow, and the elements would not have been recognizable. So, play with the shutter speed and check the viewfinder on the back of your camera to determine your personal preference. I was at 1/60 here.

Then you want to be sure that all of your subject is in focus, and that your aperture is not too wide. I was at a 9.5 here. I am never at a 9.5 {I like a very narrow depth of field – i.e. very blurry backgrounds}. However, in this case, I knew that the motion would give me the blur that I needed so I didn’t worry about that. Plus, the swing was moving around so much that I needed to have a very large focal plane so I could catch the kids in focus no matter where the swing took them.

Once you have all of that determined, you then need to move with the subject. Yes, you need to pan! I planted my feet and body so that I would face their resting position directly from the side {Does that make any sense?}. Then when Luke swung them, I kept my feet planted and moved my camera with the kids at their speed.

Finally, you need to take lots of shots. I took over 50 of them swinging to get this one good one. This was especially tricky because you have two kids to look good and have their eyes open and you have a swing that spins, so sometimes I would get a shot of their backs. Remember that whole patience bit?:)

Good luck…

  • May 3, 2010 - 9:29 pm

    Sonja Krasean - Thanks for your words about joy! These are incredible pictures – love the panning shot and the eyes on your little guy are amazing! Hope you are well!

  • May 4, 2010 - 9:34 am

    Arielle Langhorne - Goodness gracious! These have got to be some of my very favorite shots ever! The panning! I’ve tried it once with Meg on a bike, and could never be happy with the result. 50 frames isn’t all that much to get this wonderful picture, you rock!!!
    And of course the sweet close up after the fun one, is just adorable. Love it Jessie.

  • May 4, 2010 - 10:59 pm

    Christa - Love the pictures, love your kids, love you…oh, and love Applebees.

  • May 6, 2010 - 1:20 pm

    Danyel - LOVE those shots. That second one, up close, those are the ones you take that I love the most. take my breath away. You are amazing.

  • May 14, 2010 - 6:17 pm

    Lisa Murray - I love these pix –

  • January 6, 2011 - 4:03 am

    Joyful Journey: The Beginning {Minneapolis Engagement Photographer} » Joyful Girl Photography Blog - […] about anything at all but I like them anyway. I have already started some photography shoptalk (see here and here and here), but I thought I would have a place to bundle all the tidbits together […]

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