Everyone needs a helping hand

Want to take pictures like this?  There are only two things that I can suggest.  Get a light-stand (or tripod that works as a light stand, or get an assistant.  An assistant is better, and as you read, I think it will become obvious why.

The problem you will encounter with a picture like this is this: The sky is beautiful, and you don’t want to leave that out of your picture.  If you expose for the sky alone, everything else will be dark.  We’ve all seen those type of pictures, and, while they are often pretty, they are also lacking in some respects.  If we expose for the subject, in this case, my little Abigail, then the sky will go completely white, and everyone will say, “Oh, how cute your little girl is,” but no one will say, “Wow, what an amazing photographer you are.

The solution is this:  You need a flash.  To give your picture a bit more realism, you might choose to use a filter on the flash.  Orange or yellow will warm the picture up so that it really feels like sunset.  But, the important thing is the flash.  I could have shot the picture with my flash on my camera, but sadly, that only produces a so-so picture.  Better is to get the flash off the camera.  In this case, I had my wife stand about 4 feet away from Abigail (about 45 degrees to our right of her nose).  This adds shadows, and shadows give pictures a sense of drama and life.  As Abigail moved, my wife moved, tracking her with the flash throughout the shoot.

Some day I will collect all these photographs into some type of presentation.  My little Abi will in her gown, and her groom will be by her side.  I will start that show, and there will be a hush in the room as friends and family watch the moment-by-moment blooming of my child.  We will watch her grow from baby to woman, and the pictures that I give them will hold within them the warmth of her blood, and the flow of her breathing.  They will be still pictures that move (if such a thing is possible).  And as that presentation ends, so will end that grip of father onto child and I will let her go and she will be her own forever.  Pictures like these are pictures you will treasure, so I encourage you to get out there and start shooting.  Take a lot of shots, but make them good shots, and fill your shots with love and joy.

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