Hello again friends! Yesterday (just hours before midnight) I shared on Instagram my 2015 favourite photographs and I promised that I'd explain at least why I selected those images among the thousands I've made last year. First of all I really have to admit that I still struggle a lot while editing through images, I really feel it's one of the most difficult (and important) skills to get good at if you want to progress in your photography. As you might have seen in my blog I take all kind of images but my two preferred areas are usually "family lifestyle photography" and "street photography". The below photographs are some of the ones I wanted to highlight in the first of these two categories and I'll probably also share my street photography favourites in some days from now.
These 9 photographs are different among each other and have an importance on its own for the following reasons I comment below, hope you find it interesting and I wish you a great and exciting 2016!
1. Understanding light at home
One of my (still alive) photography icons is Cliff Mautner (http://cmphotography.com) and I love one of his most popular quotes: "shadow is my canvas and light is my paint". This is such a strong concept and foundation that I try to practice it over and over again so that it becomes part of my style. I made the below photograph one of many random afternoons, at home, while playing with Sofía. I love the depth, texture and dimension I managed to capture. It doesn't matter where you are, you don't need any fancy locations or set ups: a window, natural soft light and start "painting that canvas" :-)
2. Camera and lenses are tools
I made the photograph below of Darío which I love with a Nikkor 35 1.8G DX which is originally designed for APS-C (cropped sensor camera bodies) used on my Nikon D750 full frame camera. It's not a lense that I own ( Ihave the full frame 35mm prime lens) but I was playing with this one seems it turns out to work out well if used at wide open apertures. Sometimes we get stuck by technology and blocked by excuses we find in our gear. I remember this was a good example on how we can use whatever tools we have available and with those create the best possible photograph you can.
3. Composition is critical
This photograph of Agustín with his dog and family around him is very strong to me, it has many key factors that elevate an image: beautiful light, authenticity, emotion, gesture but what I really love above all of them is the composition. He's in the center of the image (good example that you don't always have to follow the famous "rule of thirds") and the rest of the elements are in perfect harmony with him. I've tried to be more and more precise with my composition in the last year and it's something that this photograph helps me remember
4. Be ready for the unexpected
We had an amazing time last September in the UK. Spending some time with the family and discovering new beautiful locations is great. In order to be ready for any magical moment I always try to have my camera with me, in my hand and with certain settings that would allow me to quickly react to any scenario. Thanks to this "be ready mindset" I could make one of my favourite and most magical photographs I did so far. We were taking a walk in the woods and suddenly, without expecting it, we found this beautiful horse. I'd have missed the one second moment when they looked at each other for the first time if I wouldn't have anticipated myself. Always have your camera ready :-)
5. "She doesn't like to be photographed"
I remember well the following photograph because it was one of those many cases when someone comes to you and tell you (almost as if it'd a challenge...) that she/he is impossible to caught them camera unaware. I hear that a lot from parents: "She never allows us to take a picture of her!". Well, with Carmen below I had that challenge and I was so proud that I could finally manage to make this lovely portrait of her. Persistence is key to success.
6. Play with them, get close
Sofía is always dancing! ALWAYS! One thing that I learnt some time ago is that if you want to take great photographs you need to get involved. Play with them, dance with them. The more you get in to their game the more unaware they'll be of you making photographs. The below picture was a good example of that, I also love that small gesture she's doing...
7. Capturing the soul
I'm very proud of the photograph below and the compliment I received from her mum: "You've captured her personality perfectly" she told me. I loved that comment because that's what I ultimately try to accomplish, to capture their essence, their soul. Eva is such an adorable, magical and adventurous little girl!
8. Gesture and emotions
Mother and son always have an special relationship but how to make a real, authentic, portrait that would capture their feelings? It's so important to create a relaxed, open atmosphere for the persons you photograph. That way, real emotions begin to naturally unfold. I love the picture below because of their gesture, what a powerful moment.
9. Back to basics
This is one of the best things I did in 2015! Finding my dad's old Pentax MX camera and experiencing with film definitely made me a much better photographer. I forced myself to go out of my comfort zone, become more precise, anticipate moments and as a bonus I made one of my favourite portraits of Sofía so far. Learn the craft, get back to basics so that you can move forward :-)
Talk to you soon, ciao!