Simple.

by Amy Rhodes

I love this months Blog Circle theme.  Simple.  We were given the theme for August right after our July post, so I have had plenty of time to think about what simple means to me.  I thought of taking pictures of simple objects, but that's not me.  If I am going to take pictures I want there to be a connection to the subject I am photographing.  The more I thought about it, the more I had the desire to photograph my own children.  

When my kids were babies I would set up little photo shoots with them all the time.  I would go into our spare bedroom, throw a white sheet on the bed and just practice.  I have thousands of pictures of them when they were little.  I love them.  Not only are they pictures of my favorite little people, but they show the progress of my photography.   I still take lots of pictures of my kids, but they are more lifestyle shots.  They are pictures of them doing things I want to remember.   

I decided I was going to do a simple photo shoot with my kids and I want to show you how to do one with your kids, too. When I say simple, that's exactly what it was.  I didn't use any special lighting contraptions, we didn't worry about a fancy wardrobe and I didn't drive them to a special location.  We did it in our messy family room. 

simpleblog11.jpg

The most important element in this photo shoot was the light.  I wanted to use the beautiful morning light pouring through the windows.  When you do this in your own home look for light that isn't intense. North facing windows are usually the best.

I wanted photograph my kids around the couch.  I wanted a darker background and I loved how the chocolate leather reflected the light.  Notice how I have placed my couch?  It is angled to the light.  I did that so the light would be soft.  By placing my subject at a 45 degree angle it allows the light to create more depth with shadows and highlights.   

simpleblog 12.jpg

One thing I want you to notice is how the couch has a brighter side and a darker side.  I wanted my kids to be in the light.  Both of the pictures below are straight out of the camera. I did nothing to enhance or edit them.  I wanted you to see how being aware of where you place your subject in regards to the light does make a difference.  You can actually see how the light has a stronger reflection on the back of the couch on the top picture than the bottom one.  You can also see how more light is reflected in my daughters eyes in the top picture.  I always try and capture light in the eye.  

simpleblog8.jpg

That's it.  That's all I did to set up this photo shoot.  See how simple it was?   I am in love with the results.   I would love to see your results, too.  Feel free to post a link to your pictures in the comment section below.  

All of these images were taken with an 85 mm lens, ISO 640  F 1.6  1/125. 

simpleblog5.jpg
simpleblog4.jpg
simpleblog6.jpg
This is what I get when I tell her I want a serious look.  Sometimes her ability to look "pouty" frightens me.

This is what I get when I tell her I want a serious look.  Sometimes her ability to look "pouty" frightens me.

Taken right after the serious shot.  Proof she has a sense of humor. 

Taken right after the serious shot.  Proof she has a sense of humor. 

simpleblog10.jpg
simpleblog9.jpg
My favorite. I love them so much it hurts.

My favorite. I love them so much it hurts.

Make sure you visit all of the teachers' blogs.  Next up is Elizabeth Wendland.  She is an fantastic sports photographer in the Portland, Oregon area.  Click on her wesite to see how she interprets simple.  http://www.elizabethwendland.com/living-simply