© 2013 Crystal J.

Photoshoot #1

My 1st photo shoot for this project was with Just Like Home Daycare. The Daycare is owned by my boyfriends Mother, so I am extremely close to the wonderful family who runs it, and know the kids as well.

I admit, I have been really nervous to do my planned photoshoots.  Before this class, I really only photographed in my personal time, when convenient – when the lighting is just right outside (overcast), when I felt like it, when I was with the right people, etc.  But part of my challenge for the photography of Children’s Domestic Space is to learn how to successfully carry out photography sessions.

I wanted to try something new during this first shoot, so along with my usual 35mm color film, I also shot in 400 35mm black and white film, and learned to develop it at Photoland.  I have to say that I loved it, and will continue to use black and white film in my photography sessions!

There are a few things that make a planned photography session different than a spontaneous one, things to consider ahead of time are: scheduling, lighting, and expectations.

1. Scheduling:

When scheduling this photo shoot with the daycare provider, it was decided that I should come after the children’s scheduled snack, and right before outside play time when I would begin photographing.

When planning a photo shoot, I have learned the importance of solidifying a date and time.  It does not work to say “oh, we’ll shoot sometime this weekend!  Just give me a call.”  No.  It will not happen!  I’ve learned to get out my calendar and plan a specific date and time for the session.

This was tricky for me at first, especially since I’m not comfortable with different lighting conditions.  I feel unsure of my ability to photography in harsh sunlight, for example.  So near the beginning of the quarter I was tempted to plan my shoots with a “let’s play it by ear” attitude.  I now see that scheduling makes the perfect opportunity for me to get comfortable and used to shooting in a variety of different weather and lighting conditions.

2. Lighting

As mentioned above, scheduling makes it difficult to know what the available natural light will be like.  I am most comfortable photographing in overcast weather.  But you really can’t schedule in advance knowing exactly what the weather will be like.  After this 1st photography session, I learned (through advice online, and Isabella in class) that the best times to schedule a shoot is in the early morning (before 9am), or evening (after 4pm) when the sun isn’t directly overhead.

When taking this shoot, the lighting was extremely harsh and bright!  I know now that this shoot would have gone better had I scheduled it earlier in the morning, or later when the light wasn’t so harsh.  To make up for the inconvenient position of the sun I found it best to photograph the kids in the shade of the house, or under some trees on the other side of the yard.

3. Expectations

For participating in photography sessions, I am giving families digital copies of the pictures taken (and if it’s an individual family, one print of choice).  I want to make my session worth the participants time, and therefore put a lot of pressure on myself than I would otherwise.  This is where a lot of my anxiety begins in scheduling a photo shoot.

Overall, I had a blast photographing these wonderful kids!  They were so fun, loving, playful – I loved attempting to capture their playfulness on film.  Thank you so much for this learning experience!




One Comment

  1. Isabella
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | #

    I know we had talked about your photo shoot quite a bit in critique last week but I still wanted to read your post to find out more about your process. I am so impressed that you took the time and effort to learn how to print in black and white and have applied it to your project. Sometimes I forget that you weren’t in the program during Fall when we learned all that stuff. Anyway, I think your first round of photos are beautiful and definitely capture the playfulness of being a kid. I am looking forward to your next round of photos and good luck with scheduling and coordinating with families. Don’t worry about the pressure of expectations, your photos will be great and any family will appreciate them! 🙂

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