A birthday photo

So…our little kidlet just turned 3 years old. She’s super proud of that fact…and has spent a good deal of time learning how to show you three fingers to indicate just how old she is.

Kerrigan 3-yr birthday - FB

So yeah…this is my favorite photo from her special day. And I’m just going to share a little bit about how it was taken.

Kids are one of the greatest challenges in life – and that’s no different when you’re trying to take pictures of them. I get it. Oh….yeah…I get it.

Framing the shot

So, here’s the spiel. How hard could it be really? Just snap away while she’s busy chasing bubbles. Well…yes. and no. When I originally sat down to shoot this, the background was a busy mess of playground equipment and other kids, cars, park buildings…it just wasn’t very appealing.

So I shifted my position forward and to the side, so that I was shooting with this shady row of trees behind the fenced drive. Simple, clean background that hints nicely that we are in a park.

Focus!!!   Focus!!!!!

Awesome how simple that was. Well, than I had to deal with getting the focus. This was shot with a Canon 80D and the kit 18-135 lens. Do I have better lenses??? You betcha. But this was a family thing. I didn’t want to lug around all the big guns and take away from the fun of just being with my family for kiddos big day. So, to get good focus on this busy little beast, I set the camera to the AI Focus setting. This setting is designed to track moving subjects…which should be obvious that we certainly have that. If you’re not sure how to set that, be sure to check in your manual or google it for your particular camera.

Aside from that, I used single point focus, and kept that point set on kiddo’s happy face. Yeah, I was moving a lot, tracking her.

…and the need for speed

Finally, since this was a bright day I set my ISO at 200, and set the camera on shutter priority. I dialed in a setting of 1/400 for the required shutter speed. I could have probably bumped the ISO up a bit higher and then likewise increased that shutter speed to really freeze her motion, but I was happy with the results I was getting here. Again, this wasn’t meant to be epic studio quality….just a super sweet image of my kid having a blast.

And I was thrilled when I got it! Now I know it’s not technically perfect. Some of the highlights are blown on her arm and face.

Oh well. I really don’t mind. I’m still framing this photo. Because that’s what life is all about. Memories, and the photos we share.

Cheers everyone, and happy photographing!!!



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