August 3, 2009

Mommy and Me Ballet

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Guest post and photo by Rafael (RC) Concepcion

EDITOR’S NOTE: I am very proud to introduce you all to RC. He’s part of the giant Kelby Media Empire and is involved in too many projects to mention here. He’s also one heck of a photographer. In my opinion, his portrait of his daughter and wife is one of the best photos I’ve seen this year. It tells a great story and is at the heart of what I try to get photographers to think about when they press that shutter button. “Why are you making that picture and what are you trying to say?” Here, we have no doubt why RC made the shot. And we can read many messages into the photo which means it tells a great story. So great in fact that there are many possible stories here. We see love, trust, admiration, beauty, grace and more. Read on to find out the backstory behind RC’s great photo.

The Backstory:

Sabine was born on September 11, 2008 – and from the first seconds, she has had the lens of a proud Photographer Dad on her. Call it fatherly pride, but she almost seems to twinkle at the sign of a camera lens, automatically hamming it up for a picture daddy can show off around the office. Every now and again we play dress up and see if we can shoot something interesting.

My wife Jenn is a Ballerina, and I thought it would be a great idea if we got Sabine dressed in her own tutu and shoes and had Jenn held her. The picture was supposed to be more of a “Mommy and Me” moment. Elinchrom RX600 hitting the back cyc and another RX600 attached to a med Octa at the front.

Jenn’s getting her shoes ready to talk around in and to do so starts stretching and going “on Pointe” (That’s what it’s called when they stand on their toes). Right before she’s going “on Pointe” she sets Sabine down as I am at the camera setting focus. The moment comes in an instant, Sabine looking up in amazement at what her mother is doing. I rip one frame of it, and as soon as the flash goes off, her attention is elsewhere. Now, I wanted to see if there was a way to get that look back, but every shot I did afterwards just didn’t work. With babies only really have a few minutes before that cute bundle of joy turns into a screaming mess – so we didn’t dare chance it.

I get home, pop the card into Lightroom and wouldn’t you know it – The first shot was the best of the group.

What Saved The Shot: I didn’t spend any time flashing the scene with the baby in it. Actually I used a Roller case that I had nearby to ‘stand in’ while I set everything up. Baby was tended to, and when showtime came we didn’t have to fuss with the lights!

What I got out of it: Just because you go into a shoot thinking of one shot doesn’t necessarily mean you should be blind to everything else. Always keep your eye on the scene. You never really know when something is going to pop out at you.

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This picture was submitted to the World in Focus Competition for PDN – to vote on it go here: http://bit.ly/e72Z3
For more information on RC – Check him out at Layers Magazine or follow him on Twitter.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store