Monday, April 20, 2009

Tips for photographing children - part 1

(c)2009 Jennifer Dennis Potter

The most important thing to watch for when photographing children is the light. It is also the trickiest thing to learn to see. I want to offer some simple ideas to keep in mind about light.

-Time of day is important: children have delicate features, so you want to keep light soft. Photograph in the morning, before the light is bright, or in the evening. This also reduces the "raccoon effect" of dark shadows in the eyes.

-Reflect the light: photograph your child on a white blanket, either inside or outside and turn off the flash. You can also buy a piece of white foam core or poster board (or a professional reflector) and have someone else reflect the light into the child's face. This gives a soft light.

-Turn off the flash: most bad photos of kids involve flash. Use it for events, when you want to capture a moment when your child is moving (like a soccer game or dance), but turn it off for a portrait. If you have a professional flash, you can diffuse it with a small soft box designed for flashes.

My next post will be about photographing children: location.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Nourishes You?

I ask you this because I love to hear responses to things I post. I'm so interested in what truly works for you in your life.

I've been thinking about this question a lot lately. I used to be able to get away with offering myself junk food, little sleep, no prayer, no time walking in the woods. In short, I have sometimes lived a spiritually and even physically impoverished life. I can only get away with that for so long before I find that my need manifests itself in other ways.

I just left a very part-time job that I had a lot invested in emotionally. I wanted so much for it to be something that it wasn't and wasn't going to be. It was a job of deprivation. I would walk in and feel a wave of fatigue wash over me. I would try to ignore that this job was never going to be what I wanted it to be and even what it needed to be, but that was always there. So, I left.

So, what nourishes you? Because you have to answer the question sooner or later. You can pretend to be cool, pretend to not desire something deeper, better, more, but the need will be there. I will answer for myself. What nourishes me: time with my family, time in the woods, on a beach, with a paintbrush or a camera exploring, time to pray, meditate, read, time to explore a library, dig in the dirt, to knead dough.

It is not so hard to be fed, but to let go of things that don't feed you can sometimes be hard. I've let go and will see what's next.

photo/text: (c)Jennifer Dennis Potter

Thursday, April 2, 2009


This is my latest custom "child's name" block photo. It's for a baby-to-be by the cute name of "Brooklyn". The mom didn't think I had any rabbits available for the photo since there are none currently in my shop, but I'm glad she asked because I have three! My son recently got a little Schleich rabbit hutch and two extra bunnies for his birthday. I thought that using all three of them in the photo gave the sense of a new family, with a mom, dad and a baby.

Bunnies are also so "Spring-y"! Welcome, Spring and welcome to the world, Brooklyn!