Children Creative Photography - Flower Child(ren)

September 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

As a photographer, there are many creative ideas that pop into my head throughout the day.  Some I throw away, and some seem to nag at me until I act on them.  This current portrait photo shoot is one that has been nagging at me for some time, and I finally decided I needed to find time to implement these ideas.

The lighting scheme is pretty simple.  I used the following equipment for the lighting:

I used the following camera and lenses for this photoshoot:

  • Camera:  Canon 5D Mark II
  • Lenses:  70 - 200mm f/2.8L, 180mm f/3.5L Macro, 24-105mm f/4.0L

 

Here is a photograph showing the setup.  As you can see, it is pretty simple:  the boom arm is parallel to the floor and is elevated about 7 feet.  The Apollo Orb is positioned directly above the bathtub.

Houston Portrait Photography, lighting setup, Gerbera Daisies, Children PortraitsFlower Child Setup-03

 

I found some Gerbera Daisies from Central Market on Westheimer in Houston.  They seem to always have the best selection of flowers, and you know that they will be fresh and very vibrant in color.

I filled the bathtub with water about 4 to 6 inches high.  I then had my daughter Audrey lie down in the tub.  I wet her hair well and made sure it would flow in the water.  I then placed the Gerbera daisies in her hair.

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub The main problem that I encountered with just placing the Gerbera daisies in the water near Audrey's hair is that they did not stay in or near her hair for very long.  They would quickly float away out of the frame of the camera.  Clipping the flowers to her hair did not work well because the clips began to pull at her hair and hurt her.  This was not a good situation!  If I had ten other hands so that I could keep the flowers near her hair while pressing the camera shutter, I would be set!  But alas, I was born with only two.

So, I used my engineering troubleshooting prowess to solve this problem.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a 12 inch diameter styrofoam ring.  This styrofoam ring would not only float in the water, but it would allow me to easily punch holes in the ring with a Phillips head screwdriver and slide the Gerbera daisy stems through the punched holes.  I then would only have to keep track of one floating object instead of the 15 flowers floating independently in the water.  When punching the holes out of the stryofoam, make sure you do it over a bag or trashcan.  Otherwise, you will have lots of loose stryofoam all over the house and your significant other (in my case, my wife Amy) will certainly not appreciate it!

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, Houston, Flower Ring SetupGerbera Daisy Ring Flower Child Setup-02

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, Houston, flower ring setupGerbera Daisy Ring Flower Child Setup-01

A week had passed since my last attempt, and I readied myself with my three subjects:  Amelia, Audrey, and William.

First up was my almost three year old (turns three in November) niece and god daughter Amelia.  Unfortunately, she did not feel too comfortable lying down in a bathtub full of water.  She was a good sport, and she did not cry, but she just was not ready to lie down for a good long time in water with flowers around her head.

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Little Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

Next up was my four year old twin daughter Audrey.  She is a ham, and she was a great model with the floating flowers last week.  I think you would have to agree that she did an exceptional job.

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl Holding Gerbera Daisy in Bathtub
Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Smiling Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub Looking Up Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub Looking to the Side Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Girl with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

My last model was my twin son William.  I know what you are thinking, "A boy with flowers?!  Come on, Jim!"  Well, William loves to do just about everything that his younger sister (by 4 minutes) and his little cousin do.

 

Children Portrait Photography, Gerbera Daisies, flowers, HoustonPortrait of Smiling Boy with Gerbera Daisies in Bathtub

If you plan to copy this photoshoot or take some of these ideas and run with it, here are a couple of pointers:

  • Arrange the flowers so that the stryofoam ring is hidden by the flowers when taking the photograph from above.  This will save you a lot of time in post processing (i.e. Photoshop) in removing the styrofoam.
  • Cut out a portion of the styrofoam ring so that it will not rub against your model's neck.  The styrofoam is rough and will irritate the skin when it is moving in the water.  A happy model will look much better in the photographs.
  • Have a wash cloth or small towel ready to wipe water off of your model's face or eyes.  Inevitably, water will get on the model's face.  My models really did not like getting water in their eyes!  Again, by removing water on the face, it will save you a bunch of time in post processing (unless that is the look you are going for).
  • When placing the flowers in the styrofoam, leave a little bit of the stem past the bottom of the styrofoam.  The extra stem will let you push the flower out of the styrofoam more easily if you decide to rearrange the flowers.  On the other hand, do not leave so much of the stem that you will need to remove it in post processing.

So, what are you thoughts?  Please leave a comment (or two) below!  Thanks!

 


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