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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Using your family as models

No doubt about it - photography is a pretty solo pursuit. We get up at horrible hours of the morning, have our eyes stuck in a viewfinder all day and can be heard to emit incomprehensible rumblings about f stops and shutter speeds.

Which is great if we're on our own, but often when we go on holiday we take the whole family with us. And their idea of fun is not to sit around while Mum or Dad spend twenty minutes setting up a tripod and waiting for the light to change.

So how do you balance the needs of your family with your need to take photos? Bribery is the answer! You need to photograph your kids as much as possible because your other half will never complain that you're taking too many pictures of the precious little tykes. :)

Seriously though, how your children react when on holiday is a story in itself and one that needs to be told. From a commercial point of view kids on holidays are popular sellers, and more importantly from a personal point of view you'll have lots of great memories for the future.

My son is quite used to being Dad's lackey. Stand here, look that way, smile, wave. You get the picture. I really liked the way the fence led off into the distance so used a telephoto lens to compress the perspective. The shallow depth of field from the telephoto also means that my son Mirai is very sharply in focus and everything behind him is blurred. That combined with the lovely backlight putting a halo around his head and you've got instant Mum-pleasing portrait shot. Which then gives you some leeway when you want to go off on your own and photograph.

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