Little Russian Girl in Summer

My beautiful girl loved playing in these pink flowers while I snapped some photos.

My beautiful girl loved playing in these pink flowers while I snapped some photos.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in a wild flower field just a few minutes from my house. I have three children ages 3-6, so we usually go for locations that are not far from home!
Usually I try to take photos at "Golden Hour", but summer in Germany means that the sun doesn't set until about 9:30pm - way to late to drag the little one out to the field! So during the summer I have to aim for partially cloudy days to get a soft light effect. This was taken at about 6pm on a cloudy evening, but there was just enough light peeking through to give her a soft glow.
I didn't use any reflectors or any additional lighting. Just the gentle evening cloud cover. She is old enough where I can ask her to turn slightly to one side or the other, which helped a bit in getting the light slightly above and to her right.
This was shot with a Canon 5D Mark III, 135mm lens at f2.0, ISO 250. No other equipment was used.
I really get inspired when I see a great, natural location outdoors. I love natural scenery, without a lot of props and distractions. Something simple that really allows you to showcase your subject. When I saw this flower field near our house I knew I had to do a photoshoot there with my daughter. She is obsessed with pink (so I knew I'd have a willing subject!) and I had a brand new 135mm lens I was dying to try out. I knew it would give me a great bokeh effect with a lot of color here. So we just waited for a slightly overcast evening and I let her frolic around in the pink flowers without too much direction. My favorite photos of her happen when she is just in front of the camera, doing her own thing. In this case, a little girl just doing a bit of evening daydreaming, playing in a field of pink.
I do post process all of my images in lightroom and photoshop. This image was taken on a cloudy evening, so I did some adjustments to get the colors a bit more vibrant and slightly adjust the overall tone of the image to be a bit warmer to compensate for the lack of sunshine. When editing a portrait, I am sure to sharpen the eyes/eyelashes and lips of the subject, especially on a girl, just to make sure those pop. I did a little cloning at the top of the image to get rid of small amount of treeline so it would just be a seamless blur of flowers, and added a bit of soft light off to the top right to just enhance what was already there.
In my camera bag
I am a self taught photographer. I've only been doing this for a few years and definitely don't consider myself a professional, but I have come a long way from where I started. My bag doesn't include a whole slew of lenses, since I am slowly but surely building up my arsenal. I carry a 5D Mark III, a 50mm f1.4, a 35mm f2.0, and my new 135mm f2.0. As you can see I prefer the sharpness of primes with a good bokeh! I started my photography journey on a Canon 7D with a 17-55mm kit lens, which is still the only zoom lens I own.
If you live in a country that has really long daylight hours during the summer, the key is to figure out how to get your subject in soft light. Most children will not be able to wait until 9pm for the coveted "golden hour"! So work on a slightly overcast day, or find some shade. If your subject is a child, try not to over direct them during the shoot. Put a child outside in a location with something that interests them, and let them be. Most children don't think about the camera after a few minutes, and will just explore and play naturally. If you are in a beautiful natural location, you don't want an over-posed subject smiling at the camera. So let them be themselves. Just be there to capture it.

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