Little Angels: a A Child Life Portrait

I photographed two absolute angels this month.  It was a perfect Saturday morning in the most beautiful little grove of trees in Gilbert, Arizona.  The trees had lost a few leaves which had turned a wonderful orange-yellow.  The weather was perfect and the girls were as cute as they could be.  The slide show presents the photos in full color, but I thought I would show my favorite images from this portrait shoot in a muted film style.  I was inspired to present them in this style by the first image in the series.  It just begged to be shown this way, so who am I to argue with an image’s wishes.

Princess dresses, magic wands and pink cowboy boots.  You can’t ask for a better morning than this…

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (1)

The girls had a lot of fun playing in the leaves and running back and forth in their little princess dresses.  There is a lot of joy in those little girls.

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This is the moment we live for.

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One of my absolute favorites in the entire set.  I think it is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.

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 But while her sister was falling to sleep, big sister was full of life and energy.  I think princess outfits are like sugar to a little girl.  Put them on and they become full of life and energy.

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (7)

Family Portrait Location: Gilbert Arizona

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

The Miller Family Portrait

 

We shot the Miller’s family portraits in and around my new studio space in Chandler, Arizona.  The downtown area is full of great locations for photos and my studio is a great space for both working, meeting clients and shooting.  Come check it out sometime.  I’ll post a blog about it soon.

There is not a lot that needs to be said about these photos.  They are just super cute and were a lot of fun to take.  One thing that I was talking about with my client was the tendency for parents to think that “we got nothing” from that shoot because the kids are being too fidgety or too rambunctious.  But in the end, parents are always surprised by how many great images we got out of the shoot…  Here are just a few of my favorites.  There are a ton of them.

The slide show above is an uncommon one for me, because I typically don’t show a lot of multiple images from the same vantage point and situation back to back.  But this shoot was full of hilarious iterations on a theme.  So I went with it.

This first one starts the ball rolling right.

 

 

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Family portrait location: Chandler, Arizona

A Peppermint Tea Party

What did you do on New Years Day?  It is hard to believe that anyone felt more important than these five little girls this New Years Day.  It was about the cutest event I have ever seen.  My wife is an amazing event designer (although she doesn’t do it professionally).  The amount of love that goes into this kind of a party is off the charts, and the girls felt it.  There’s nothing like seeing a little girl turn into a real princess for a morning.
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 Party Design by Danielle Platt

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of TripleScoopMusic

Photo of the Day: Sunlight and Sunshine

documentary photograph of a child at dinner taken with the Leica M

 

I spent a week in Greer photographing collateral images for Hidden Meadow Ranch (one of my favorite places in the West).  I am working on some of them now and came across this fun little shot at the dinner table full of sunlight and sunshine.

I had a number of cameras with me on this job.  Dinner time was the one moment of the day I wasn’t shooting or planning a shot, so it was my time to enjoy and to play with some of the cameras I had at my disposal.  This shot was taken with the Leica M rangefinder camera and adjusted in Lightroom.  More images from this shoot are forth coming.  Lot’s of cool cowboys, horses, etc…

An Afternoon Portrait in the Park with the Flamino Family

I photographed the Flamino family at a park in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The afternoon was full of fun and energy and snacks and running and more running.  Getting either of the kids to sit was a rare occasion, so when they did, I took advantage of the moment.

Child portrait by Jared Platt (2)

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 This was my favorite image from the afternoon and not because of the composition or the light… I just know that’s the moment that matters to me as a father.

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 She has such beautiful curly hair.  She was so much fun to photograph.

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Child portrait by Jared Platt (7)

 The afternoon ended with fun on the swings.

Focusing on a swinging child is impossible because by the time you get focus, they are on their way out of it.  Instead of trying to get the camera to follow them automatically, I simply set a focus distance and waited until the child entered into my area of focus.

Child portrait by Jared Platt (8)

Child portrait by Jared Platt (9)

 Children’s Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Nancy Falkow, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Park in Scottsdale, Arizona

Baby Finn’s Infant Portrait Session

 

This is Finn.  He’s a big baby and pretty strong.  He’s like a little superman.  He can leap tall buildings in a single bound, or more accurately, he can hold his head up.  So, this was a fun shoot.  Usually infants don’t have much strength for their first portrait session, but because of Finn’s super natural strength, we were able to take some great infant portraits.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the portrait session.

This first shot makes me laugh.  The infant is one cool cat.

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While Finn was grabbing a bite to eat in his trailer, we were setting the lights for his next portrait.  So Rex (dad) became his stand in.

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Finn already plays a little football.  And although he is a bit wobbly, with a little help, he can also sit up.  So Casey and Rex (mom and dad) kept a hand on him to help stabilize him.  I loved the hands in the shot, so I told them not to worry about getting rid of their hands, the shot was so cute with their hands.

Don’t think of this as weakness.  He was practicing getting through the line.  He’s very serious about football.

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He’s very serious.  Even when he is wearing a giant sock.

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Congratulations Rex and Kacey and welcome to the world Finn.  You’re already a star!

Infant portrait by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Sparrow, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

 

Sunsets and Dandelions: A Family Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

We spent the afternoon with the Morris family at Tumbleweed park in Chandler, Arizona and one of their many dogs.  Josephine rescues dogs, so she has a lot of them, but we only photographed with one.  Jason and Josephine’s daughter is very expressive and a lot of fun.  I think one of the reasons I love photographing children so much is that they are so much more expressive than adults.  So when you want adults to be expressive, bring along a child that they love and get them paying attention to their child.  Suddenly, everyone is expressive and having fun.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the photo shoot…

I think she is saluting me.  Maybe she’s just pointing to her head saying I don’t have any hair.

 

How cute it this little look on her face?  Now, we are photographing her in open shade, so there is no absolute need for a flash, but without the flash, I would have a little too much darkness in her eyes, so when possible, I prefer to have an off camera flash putting just a little light into her eyes.  You can see the slight shadow on the fence from the flash, which is off to the right of the camera, but because of it’s off camera position, there is plenty of volume in the shot.

Man, she was adorable…

The interaction on the next few images are priceless.  These are the shots that matter in life.  Take away every family “portrait” I have and leave me with these meaningful interaction shots with my kids and I will be completely happy.  And that’s what requires some specialized skill.  Catching the moments, being ready for them and not forcing them in a way that kills the authenticity is the challenge of being a family photographer.  I’ve started to turn down family photography work these days for people who don’t get what’s important.  If someone wants an instant portrait painting of their family, standing stiff in a line, they are not going to respond what I am creating, so I point them to other photographers.  I think we are all happier that way.

I love this one.

What child doesn’t smile when they are swinging between their parents arms?  But while she’s having all the fun, I am trying to time the focus.  I live on the wide side of apertures, so I rarely have any room to breath on focus.  What is in focus can be out if there is just a few inches of movement.  So, I live dangerously, but the results are fantastic.  The trick is to figure out where the focus will be and time for that part of the swing.  Oh, and shoot a lot of images!!!!!!

I fell in love with this image when I took it, but I fell in love with it again when I worked on it in post-production.  I absolutely love  how the tree becomes a line drawing in the background.  This one is for the wall.

Dandelions are about the best weed on the planet.  They are to fun, that we started thinking of them as flowers.

You see how much fun they are.  They are full of absolute fun!

Family Life Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Tumbleweed Park, Chandler, Arizona

Professional Toddler: I’ll Call You Back, I’m in a Meeting.

I take a lot of pictures of a lot of events, people and things, but some of my favorite images come from child portrait sessions.  These little people are the most genuine and conformable people I photograph and we get along very well.

This session was a lot of fun.  Our little toddler was always on the move, so she was a challenge to follow, but that energy came with a lot of personality.  The session started in the park where she wore us all out running back and forth with her ball and when we finally got back to grandma’s house, she was settled down pretty well… and was content to draw, read to her stuffed animal or hold meetings on her cel phone.

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (13)

Always smiling.  The park is her natural habitat.

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Get a load of that excitement and energy.  That’s truly infectious.

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Grandpa got the most love of the day.  Grandma spent more time running.  I’m glad I got this shot.  I would want this shot if it were my daughter.

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Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (7)

As I approached the house, after the park visit, she was waiting at the door.  I wasn’t really ready for the shot, I was packing in gear and so I had to set a few things down to get the shot and I only got one shot and then she was gone.  It pays to be ready for the shot.  Also, having an assistant to cary the other things would have given me more freedom to get more shots, but I think I got what I needed regardless.  I love the shot.

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Snack time.  This is important on many levels.  It is essential that a child have a snack half way through the portrait session so the energy levels are replenished and there aren’t any major breakdowns.  It also gives the child a chance to do something they love to do.  And finally, it gives me a chance to get some cute photos that are a little different than the rest of the shoot.  Snack time is a great part of any toddler portrait session.

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (9)

When my wife saw this photo, she said in an envious tone, “I want that photo.”  With her daughter in it (of course).  That’s how I know I got a great shot.  My wife covets the shot for her own child.

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Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (11)

Story time.

I was very pleased with the entire setup for this shot.  The windows already had great light coming through, which made for a nice backlit situation.  The lamp was also proving a glow, as were the lights in the room.  Just one addition flash was needed to fill in the shadow and give the subject a little extra volume.  The light was a Canon 600RT Speedlite with a Strobie small soft box on a Cheetah Stand.  I exposed at a higher ISO and first figured out my exposure for the window light.  Then I fired up the flash and pushed it up to a few stops below the window light.  I always find the ambient light first, then add flash of constant light to supplement the natural light.

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (12)

 

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (14)

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (15)

And finally, a happy formal portrait.  I am so pleased with all of the shots, but second only to the shot of her on the phone with the bear to her side, this is my very favorite image.  She’s just so happy and everything works well compositionally for a portrait print.

Child portrait in Phoenix, Arizona by photographer Jared Platt. (16)

Children’s Photography by Jared Platt, www.plattphotography.com

Slideshow music by Anna Sali, courtesy of www.TripleScoopMusic.com

Location, Phoenix, Arizona

Have a Magical Holiday Season

Holiday greeting card from Jared Platt

 

We made a holiday greeting card for the McPhie family.  This is the back of the card.  I just had to post it because it makes me smile.  I am sure this little guy will be embarrassed by this photo when he’s 16 years old…

Well, I am preparing for the holiday season, and I am sure you are too.  So, may I join the McPhie family in wishing you all a magical holiday season.