A Bad Hair Day

A shot of my 8 month old niece

A shot of my 8 month old niece
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Top Shot Award
Runner Up in Youngsters Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Youngsters Photo Contest
Curator's Choice
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Peer Award
Top Choice
Absolute Masterpiece
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Outstanding Creativity
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Superb Composition
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All Star
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Magnificent Capture
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Superior Skill
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Top ClassTM

Anything People Photo ContestTop 10 class
Anything People Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Youngsters Photo ContestTop 10 class
Youngsters Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Portraits Galore Photo ContestTop 10 class
Portraits Galore Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1


29 Comments | Report
JDLifeshots April 27, 2015
Adorable capture! Awarded.
AKUK September 20, 2015
Thank you!
Lindaspics May 06, 2015
This is such a great picture, I love it.
AKUK September 20, 2015
Thank you!
BrunoHeeb PRO
BrunoHeeb June 10, 2015
amazing shot ,love your style
AKUK September 20, 2015
Thank you! Glad you like the shot!
kiwidragonfly PRO
kiwidragonfly September 28, 2015
Hahaha! What a fantastic expression. Beautifully captured.
AKUK October 05, 2015
Thank you! It was quite hilarious at the time too!
sweetpea72 September 28, 2015
So cute
AKUK October 05, 2015
Thank you. Yup she was really cute. Grown a lot since then!!
Melissa_Olsen PRO+
Melissa_Olsen September 30, 2015
A photo couldn't get any cuter!
AKUK October 05, 2015
Thank you, Melissa!
ewelina79 PRO
ewelina79 September 30, 2015
So cute!
AKUK October 05, 2015
Thank you!
ReneeBlake PRO+
ReneeBlake October 06, 2015
LOVE LOVE LOVE this ! Made me smile :)
AKUK October 06, 2015
Thanks, Renee. Glad you enjoy the image :)
beamphoto PRO
beamphoto October 07, 2015
This is great.
maryletkeman October 07, 2015
So cute lol !
tskwelin October 11, 2015
so cute...makes me smile
Briser_fae_the_broch PRO
Briser_fae_the_broch October 13, 2015
Just superb, what an expression! Well caught.
pattack October 14, 2015
Should have won!! :D
keepsakesc October 14, 2015
awesome shot !!! congrats !!!
candicemacmillan October 14, 2015
This photo made my day!
loriobrien October 14, 2015
so cute
carolcardillo PRO
carolcardillo October 19, 2015
What's not to love? Congrats on your Awards!
JDLifeshots October 19, 2015
juliebush October 21, 2015
Priceless !!! Love it
tam4212 October 21, 2015
Good one ! Lovely kid ! :))
Amit61195 October 22, 2015
cuteness of this photo is damn too high ^_^
superb shot
LoanaLMP October 22, 2015
hahahahahahah... Love this capture! how adorable!
SarahKeates PRO
SarahKeates October 25, 2015
Priceless expression! Wonderful capture! Congrats!
karen8659 October 25, 2015
Such a very expressive face! Awesome capture!
Shebeme2 November 07, 2015
so cute.....!
DigitalSoulArt November 21, 2015
This series is hilarious... Great capture!
candidqueen August 20, 2016
That is an awesome capture!
Witmar September 23, 2016
cyrillinegoodman October 12, 2016
I love his expression, It's so funny! Great Capture! Are you sure that this isn't a photo of a young Donald Trump? LOL. Congrats on being a finalist.

Behind The Lens

I took this photo in my home studio. It was an impromptu shoot to test out some new lighting equipment.
We were babysitting my then 8 month old niece, so this was taken relatively early in the day. As it was shot in studio, the time of day is irrelevant, since I can control all elements of my exposure via the studio strobes.
Lighting is a key component of any image but always make it suit the scene, as you would any other element like hair, makeup or wardrobe. If I'm aiming to create moody, dramatic imagery, I use small light sources to sculpt subject matter and add depth. For happy, "positive" images, I tend to use large light sources to keep things bright and fresh. Don't fall into the trap of using a single lighting style for all your photographs just because it looks cool. Approach every image on its own merits and try to envisage the finished photograph before you have even captured it in camera.
I shot the image using a Nikon D90 and 50mm f/1.8D, which was mounted on a Manfrotto 055 XProB tripod and standard 804RC2 head. The light source was a Paul C Buff Einstein with a large softbox. The camera, by today's standards, is pretty basic and it is out performed by newer entry level DSLR. The 50mm f/1.8D is also a very cheap lens, but great for the money. You don't need expensive gear to make good photographs. What you do with the camera is far more important. People have been (and still do) produce stunning images on film and plate cameras, that look pathetically basic compared with modern offerings. Buying expensive saucepans doesn't make you a better chef. The same applies to photography.
I was keen to try out my new PCB Einstein. I quickly set the studio up with a backdrop and dialled in the exposure on my camera using the light meter for accuracy. I placed the high chair in the studio and centered it in the frame before placing my niece in it. I knew I would have a short window to shoot, so it was imperative to have everything ready before placing my niece in the chair. Babies get frustrated easily and you will lose valuable time composing your scene and getting your exposure correct. By this time, the child will most likely have a melt down and unless you want photographs of a crying baby, prepare ahead of time. The shoot was over and done in about 6 minutes before the tantrum came.
I wanted to keep the image very soft and painterly and spent many hours achieving the effect. The large light source was key to this, helping to keep detail in the shadows.
In my camera bag
Nowadays I shoot with the Nikon D800 and a multitude of lenses. I still love the 50mm lens for kids as it gives a slight distortion that adds to the cuteness factor. I've added to this with the 35mm f/2D now as well. For beauty portraits I tend to stick with the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR, as it's razor sharp and gives nice compression. I suffer with an essential tremor, which is a medical condition that causes my hands and arms to shake badly and it does make photography much more difficult as a result. Fast aperture glass and image stabilized lenses are a must for me, in the absence of strobes. I shoot with everything from a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D up to the 300mm f/4 AF. I enjoy wildlife photography, landscapes and portraiture and use all my lenses for all these genres. Don't let your gear limit your photography or fall into the trap of only using wide angle glass for landscapes or super-telephoto lenses for wildlife shots. I've photographed wild ground squirrels at a distance of 20cm with a manual focus 28mm lens and taken child portraits with a 300mm lens, sat 40ft from my subject. A huge part of photography is about problem solving to achieve the results you want. It's a challenge and helps keep it fun and interesting.
When photographing kids, you have to appreciate that they are running the show in most cases. Unless they are asleep, you can't really script a shot. I certainly couldn't have posed my 8 month old niece to have put her hands on her head the way she did. Child portraiture is 90% psychology, 5% photography and 5% luck. I lose count of the times I set the studio up and the kid refused to co-operate, or had a melt-down because they were tired or hungry. It can be difficult but, keeping the child interested and happy will give you greater success. Don't be afraid to interact with the child, with baby talk if they are very young, or asking them questions if they are older. Make it fun for them and you might just get rewarded for your troubles. For instance I was playing peek-a-boo from behind the camera when this shot was taken. Also, take a lot of shots in quick succession. By the time you've seen a great expression appear, it's gone before you can click the shutter. You also get a lot of differences in the micro expressions which can change a good photo into a superb one. Anticipate the moment. It's challenging and sometimes frustrating. If you're not good with children or don't have the patience, try still life or landscape photography. Your blood pressure may thank you for it!

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