fiddle leaf photography
Mar 27, 2017
This is a post which is part of the Storytellers blog series, where a group of storytelling photographers from around the world give you the dirt on what went into making a great narrative image. Once you’ve read my thoughts, make sure to click through the circle using the link at the bottom of this post.
Over the past few years I’ve embarked on countless personal projects, some of which started out with much thought and intention, and others that sort of just fell into my lap. The birthday series is one that started without me really knowing it. 3 years ago I took a photo of my husband blowing out his birthday cake candles with both of my girls also in the frame. Then the next year, without even realizing it, I made a similar photo. While I was putting together my yearly photobooks I saw both images in the same place and saw potential for a continuing series. Last week, when my husband’s birthday rolled around again, I made sure I had my camera with me to capture the ‘cake moment’.
Now, the moment in the last image might seem contrived, but I can assure you it was not. The girls were so excited to blow out Dad’s candles, and would have been squished in there right beside him if I had my camera or not. What I did do however, is ensure that the birthday boy was sitting in the seat closest to the window. That actually happened fairly stealth-like by telling him he needed to be on the corner so that there was room for chairs for the girls to be beside him.
The settings: Nikon D750 with 24-70 2.8. Shot at 27mm. ISO 2000. f/2.8. 1/200
The thought process: I composed this to include the chair to the left on purpose. I wanted to show that our youngest had abandoned her chair in favour of Dad’s lap. I normally like to shoot straight on and low, but in this case I shot down slightly so that I could capture the reflection in the table. If I’d lowered my camera more it would have just caught highlights on the table and not shown the full reflection. I also included part of my placemat and plate to make it feel like I was an active participant in this event – it wasn’t just a random photo taken of 3 people. And lastly, I loved the haze of the smoke so I chose to keep this photo instead of one where the candles were lit. Their mouths still make it clear that the candles were glowing just a few seconds ago and were successfully blown out.
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You can read all my posts from the Storytellers series here.