One of the things I love about photographing my family and in particular my young son is being able to capture expression. I often feel that capturing someone’s emotion of an event is even more important than capturing the event itself. When you recount stories or reminisce to yourself about an occasion it is most likely to be about the emotions you felt that day.
My favourite photography genre is portrait. I feel like people’s faces are so interesting, you can just stare at them and wonder what was going on behind their eyes. What were they thinking? What was going on at that moment in time? Although eyes are usually the focal point when you think of emotions I also love capturing the smaller details, the dirt on a child s cheek from playing in the park all afternoon, the posture of their body or the lines on someones face as they smile.
I’m not a fan of props or styling and much rather take natural candid photographs when it comes to taking shots of my family. It’s quite easy to get children to ignore you whilst taking a photograph as they are often too absorbed in whatever game they are playing but with adults I try and make sure they are not aware of me too much. When people are unaware of you you get a much ‘realer’ photograph although this is sometimes hard to control.
Unplanned moments make for the best shots. I took this photograph of my son in his shark costume in the courtyard of our local coffee shop. I hadn’t intended to take a pictures of him that morning and only had my i-phone with me but when he started marching and jumping around I just had to whip my phone out, crouch down and take that shot. He was so in the moment he didn’t realise I was there and had no time to freeze up or pull a ‘cheese’ face.
With any kind of photography, the first photos are always the warm up shots. I truly believe in taking lots and lots of shots, usually the ones I started out with will be the worst out of the bunch. I think this is because I am warming up and probably because who ever I am taking a photograph of is warming up too and hasn’t fully relaxed into the situation. This also means that the accidental shots or ‘in-between’ moments can sometimes capture the realist emotions.
Light also plays a large part in the expression and emotion of a picture. I hate the use of flash in photography and also seek out natural light. Lighting can add depth to a picture, shadows falling across a room or subjects face add extra layers that a flash would just wipe out. The same goes with tone and colour in a way, you should look for colours that compliment each other and don’t clash within your surroundings.
I feel like by taking photos of my family and more specifically my young son I’m constantly learning about photography and capturing the things I love about them through my lens.
My name is Fritha Quinn and I write for Tigerlilly Quinn a family lifestyle blog. I live with my husband and young son in Bristol.