It was quite convenient that the current assignment, Made In His Image, landed around the holidays! With Robert & Kendalyn and their family in town, I had ample opportunities to shoot it. However, not every opportunity turned out as I expected….

I really liked that first location. The brown, textured curtains and multi-paned glass door created a surrealistic effect that helped with the idea that this was a concept photo. I think focusing on the reflection worked best. I think focusing on the subject brought too much attention to the foreground subject itself.

That location lent itself to a more vertical composition. I was having difficulty finding an angle that had a nice background, and I couldn’t get a pleasing angle that didn’t include me in the reflection. I probably could have worked with it some more, but I decided to move on to my second location sooner than later to see what it had to offer.

The second location definitely needed some on-location “clean up”. But I immediately felt it had more potential. This is one of the first shots.

Foreground blur. Extremely clear reflection. Clean. It required some work in Photoshop to remove some distracting elements, but overall, I was really liking this location.

I experimented a bit with including more railing. The eye flow just didn't seem right, so in editing, I intentionally made the foreground very dark. The foreground was naturally bright, because that’s the direction from which the light was coming, but I wanted all attention to go to the reflection.

201119_James Staddon_3594 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 31 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 3.2, ISO 100

In retrospect, I wish I had made sure the reflection was not covered up at all by the blurred-out railing posts.

Going wide with my other lens, I could now peer between the posts.

201119_James Staddon_3603 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 18 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 3.2, ISO 100

I liked this shot because it included enough elements to place the subject in a relatable location. It’s not perfect. But it feels authentic. The profile looks really good here, too.

After recording the video, I experimented with a couple other locations. A child “looking up in wonderment” I thought would be easy. But the one who was in the right age category wasn’t exactly up for having her picture taken that night. Smile

201119_James Staddon_3648 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400

It worked better with a different subject. I got into position and asked her to pretend she was watching a squirrel (she likes squirrels) slowly climb up a tree close by. We did it a couple times so she could get comfortable, and it turned out to be the perfect expression!

201119_James Staddon_3635 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400-2

Since the photos are going to be used in the winter time, I added a bit of seasonal flavor in Photoshop. Smile It also gives a little bit of purpose for her looking up.

201119_James Staddon_3635 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400

And the last location I tried was in my Grandpa’s car. Of course everyone wanted to climb around in Great Grandpa’s car! And of course, Joshua chose the driver’s seat, so while he was “driving us around”, I photographed the others one at a time. (Things must be fair, you know. LOL) But I took the most pictures of the youngest since she was in the right age range for the assignment.

201119_James Staddon_3653 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400

201119_James Staddon_3651 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400-2

And of course, I had to try Photoshopping in some much needed snow again. Smile

201119_James Staddon_3651 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400

Going Deeper

There was not much light in every single location I chose to shoot for this assignment. To prepare yourself for whatever lighting situation you might find yourself in when you shoot this assignment, I suggest you brush up on this month’s membership-exclusive premium training, How to Take Great Photos in Low Light. Every little thing you can do to up the quality a bit in low light situations is worth it!

Low Light (play)

Now It’s Your Turn!

With it being around Christmas time, you should have ample opportunity to go out and shoot this assignment, Made In His Image! If there’s ever been an assignment that’s worth shooting, it’s this one. Who knows how many soon-to-be mothers will see your photo on Hope Pregancy Center’s Facebook page. Who knows how many of them are debating on whether or not to choose life. You never know.

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