When I took an evening class in black and white photography I shot my kids as an assignment. (Sounds funny saying it like that, but I was using a camera, so it’s okay!) One of the things the tutor noticed about my photos was that the kids weren’t looking at the camera.
There were two reasons for this. Firstly, I was using my camera a lot in those days, and the kids were less conscious of being in front of the lens. Course, now it’s more ‘Dad’s got his camera out, run for your lives!’. The second reason is that I would wait until they were distracted – absorbed with what they were doing.
I don’t use my camera as much these days, so if the kids do decide they’ll let me take their picture, they’ll pose, and I miss the shot I was going for. Sometimes though, I get lucky, like the shot above.
I much prefer these types of portraits because you see a person in their natural way, doing what they do. Some would say that looking into someone’s eyes let’s you catch a glimpse of their soul, and there are times when that approach is the best, but my favourite portraits of the kids are moments like these, when they don’t even know they’ve been caught on camera.
As an aside, it’s been a busy old time again, with a lot of changes, but more about that later.