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Authentic Emotions + Natural Moments [Mother-Daughter, Murray Park]

Another thing I’ve been working on for the last few months is creating more authentic and real emotions from my subjects, and then learning how to capture those exact moments with my camera. I also have been wanting to try a few props, but nothing hokey. So I set up this little picnic for Anne and her daughter Rilee, and I think it turned out better than I was hoping!
It was just my luck that Rilee LOVES reading! So it was actually easier than I thought it was going to be to get

some of the books in the photos.

And you can tell right away that Anne loves Rilee, and Rilee loves her mom; they got along so easily, and naturally. 

I asked Rilee if she’d ever heard of The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (that’s what she’s reading), and obviously she hadn’t–but it made me feel a century old :)

I simply adore those freckles.

 Rilee FINALLY got to climb on something at the end! It wasn’t quite as good as a tree, but it was good enough.

A big shout out to Anne and Rilee for all their beautiful smiles! Here’s some of the things I tried to focus on/not focus on to help create a more natural atmosphere; and here’s some other goals I was working on during this session:
Tried not to THINK to much about where I was standing.
Let myself get down on the ground–way low. 
I used my 50mm lens the WHOLE time. Because I knew it would blur out the background, I didn’t have to worry about the farmer’s market or the dog show that was going on around us in the park.
I also used my 50mm prime lens because it’s magnificent! The colors are much brighter right out of the camera, and when you get what you want in focus, it’s like a gagillion times sharper, while the background is terrifically and exponentially blurry as it goes! It takes practice using it, because you can’t zoom in and out. But I believe this session proves it’s worth it! Actually, I’ll admit it, I was only going to use this lens for the picnic session and then switch to my regular lens for the rest of the session because I was too scared to use it too much in case I messed up. But I packed my other lenses away in the car when I cleaned up the picnic, and didn’t want to go back to get them… so I decided I’d just go for it! I’m so glad I did :) It wasn’t as hard or nerve racking as I’d thought.
I’d been wanting to incorporate more of a “story” feel to my sessions. I think I STARTED doing that with the picnic, and the atmosphere/setting photos I took before my clients go there.
I decided BEFORE I went to the shoot that I wasn’t going to stress out. I relaxed myself, and actually sort of talked myself into remembering that I actually have some talent, and I don’t need to worry. It helped a lot; it’s so easy to let yourself get down, and think there’s no way you’re going to get good pictures this time. But I just need to keep reminding myself that I have a track record now :) My photos aren’t just going to suddenly turn out bad, unless I totally freak out from stress and forget something. So relaxed, calm, and believing in myself is the best route.
September 10, 2011 - 2:33 am

Amber - Awesome! I love hearing the "behind the scenes" info and how you're feeling, what you're thinking… it helps me as a photographer to hear that.

September 10, 2011 - 8:15 am

manda-rae - I still think that picture you got of me and Jared is the best one we have, and it's full of emotion that almost no one will see. We have too much of a playful banter going on between us that you hardly ever see anything else… And your picture showed after all the bantering, we're still in love and happy (or at least that's what I see).

So maybe I was a little confused when you said you were going to try to bring out more emotion in your photo shoots. I thought you had been doing an awesome job already. Just my two cents – and the pictures are beautiful!!

September 10, 2011 - 9:20 am

Becky Green - Hey Amanda: Not sure if you'll get this, but maybe everyone else wants to know too :) In my head, the key word is MORE! I've felt like for the last 2 years, it's been sort of random when I've been able to 1) make people really laugh like you and Jared did, and 2) capture the exact right moment with my camera. I'm practicing and learning to have more consistency, and learning how to CREATE those moments so I can take pictures of it more often. Hope that clarifies that a bit :) Your photo is actually one that I look at a lot for inspiration! I think everyone deserves one like that.

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