Favorite subjects

I think like many photographers who photograph people, the last subject(s) we photographed are often our favorite (or at least until the next photo shoot comes along).  But I've got to say that my two grandsons, Sam (6) and Joey (1), are by far my all-time favorite subjects. Sure there are times when Sam just wants to play with me and wants nothing to do with being photographed AGAIN! But more often than not he's OK with it and thinks it's normal that Grampy has a camera growing out of his face. Joey is still at an age where he'll act the same whether there's a camera pointed at him or not.  Our two daughters (my previous all-time favorites) were exactly like that. I can't imagine how many rolls of film and mega-pixels of data I've blown through taking photos of two generations of kids ... but who cares! It's been great!

At some age, maybe four or five?, "real" smiles become "cheesy" smiles - at least when there's any posing involved. And at that age (especially with boys), the only way to get a "real" smile out of them is to get down to their level - right, you guessed it: bathroom humor.

I'd recently hung an adorable new 11 x 14 of Joey on my foyer wall and it begged for a matching one of Sam. I knew my daughter and the boys would be visiting, and knowing that I wouldn't have much "shoot" time with Sam, I came up with a quick setup that used the great light from my north-facing deck doors. To eliminate a busy background, I used the black side of a large 5-in-1 reflector and positioned it about four feet behind Sam. I used a Canon 600 EX-RT flash, also behind Sam, as a subtle background light. Sam was all for the brief session, knowing that he'd have my undivided attention for the rest of the afternoon, and he followed my posing instructions to a "T" ….except for the "cheesy" smile that wouldn't go away. So, knowing my time was slipping away, I told Sam that "x#$&ing" during the session was not allowed. He immediately cracked up and broke into his great, semi-toothless smile. While I fired away, we continued our high-level discussion for the next few minutes. Here's the image that hangs in my foyer:

Sam - Canon 5DIII with 135 2.0

Below are some recent Sam and Joey pictures, including one I took today that'll be used on a Christmas card:



Joey and Sam - Canon 5DIII and Sigma 35 Art at 2.8.

Late Thanksgiving day - FujiFilm X100S.

Halloween-birthday cake - Canon 5DIII with 135 2.0

Joey at a family party - Canon 6D with Sigma 35 Art

Sam in a more contemplative moment - Canon 5DIII with 135 2.0

Joey (new teeth coming in) - Canon 5DIII with 135 2.0


Sam - Canon 5DIII with 135 2.0

Joey programing my TV - Canon 6D with Sigma 35 Art