Phillip Ward, better known as pllphotography on ViewBug, used to shoot a lot of landscape and cityscapes until one day, something more inspiring came along in Ward’s life: his son. Right now, Ward focuses on portrait photography and shooting his son. The little fellow is cheap (Ward told us his son works for candy) but can be a little moody, sometimes horribly to work with and many times demanding - but then again aren’t all professional models all these things? Either way, this little guy is very photogenic!

I love photography because:
It’s not my day job. It’s a hobby. It’s not “work”. It’s an outlet for me. It’s therapeutic. It allows me to be creative and expressive. I get to use my imagination, while at the same time preserving memories.

My camera lets me:
Capture fleeting moments. Capture memories. Capture magic.

I find inspiration when:
My son does something… Anything. It could be when he’s trying to be a ham to make my wife and I laugh. It could be when he’s discovering or trying something for the first time. It could be when I see him play with his toys, hearing the dialect and story he makes up as he plays. It could be when we are winding down from a long day, watching a family movie, and glimpsing over at him to see a genuine smile on his face as he’s watching what takes place on the screen.

One of the photos I am most proud of is Sweet Dreams because:
It is my absolute favorite photo of my son. I think I am most proud of it because, in my eyes anyway, I think I captured a perfect moment. When I look at that photo, the first thing that pops in my head is “sweet dreams”.

My favorite place to shoot is wherever I might be with my camera, which I take with me everywhere. The world is my studio. I have an infinite amount of backdrops and props. I may find something interesting to shoot against in an open field while I’m on a picnic, a downtown city alley when I’m shopping in the city, or in my own living room. My camera is always in reach.

One of my favorite photos on ViewBug is By the Table because:
It makes me feel imaginative. The photo invokes imagination and wonder from the mind of a child.

One of my favorite photographers on Viewbug is Iwona.
Iwona takes the magic of being a child, and represents it in picture form for the rest of the world (where magic has all but left) for us to see. Iwona’s photos remind me of a time when I was a child, carefree, and believed in magic.

These are 3 quick tips I’d like to share with fellow photographers:
1. Don’t get caught up in gear. You don’t need the best gear out there to get amazing photos.
2. Keep practice your craft. Don’t become complacent.
3. See tips 1 and 2.

One photo that was difficult to shoot was Country Bum because:
What photo doesn’t have the possibility of being difficult when you are photographing a toddler? For Country Bum, I was not only fighting off mosquitos from both my son and myself, but I was also fighting against the setting sun, as well as my son who wasn’t being as cooperative as he could be. I’m sure photographers who do child portraits have felt my pain at one time or another. I also had a temperature of 104.7 the day this photo was taken. I was tired of lying in bed all day, and needed something to take my mind off the fever.

The tips and secrets behind this photo:
No secrets, just basic photography. No light meter, just eyeballed it. My softbox was camera right, the sun was camera left. I set my flashes, did a test shot, and adjusted from there. I was trying to get my son to blow on his harmonica and look outward into the woods, like what is seen in my other Country Bum photo. He wasn’t quite following, so I began to imitate what I wanted him to do, and he found that hilarious. So much in fact, that is what I ended up capturing, with his head cocked to the side and a huge smile on his face. I actually prefer this photo to the one I originally planned to do. It’s a genuine expression. That may be the trick and secret, especially for photographing a child. Don’t force them, just let them be themselves.

Fore more photos by Ward, visit his profile and website.