My Puppy Portraits

We are fortunate to have a wonderful dog as part of our family. She was adopted from a shelter and has been a great blessing to our family.

Photographing this pooch is another story though. Firstly, when you get down on her level – the best vantage point for taking photographs of her – she comes closer to get affection.

The other challenge photographing her presents, is exposure. As a black dog, the camera light meter tends to under-expose her. That said, it is a fine balancing act to keep her looking like a black dog but also not loosing too much of her detail.

I noticed that I have very few photographs of childhood pets that we had. I hope to correct this for my kids with images like these, to remind us all who else has been a part of our family.

Bugging You


The more I photograph kids and family life the more I enjoy it. The trick is to be prepared for the unexpected moments. Such was the case with this shot.
In a child’s world, imagination can turn the ordinary into something amazing, and for the onlooker, amusing.
I cannot be certain if the intention was to look like a bug, but that is what it looked like to me. Was fortunate to have the camera and lens suitable for the moment in my hand.

(Olympus OM-D E-M 5 with 45mm f/1.8 shot Black and White mode in camera and edited slightly with Snapseed to brighten up the image.)

Respecting the Rhino

Recently we visited a nearby nature reserve for a Saturday afternoon. It is not an easy activity after the first hour or so particularly when you have a 3 and 6 year old in the back seat of the car.

After reaching the end of our patience we decided to head back to the park gate. We rounded a corner and I spotted something out the corner of my eye on a dirt road to the left. Determined to have my children experience Rhinoceros in the wild, we took the detour. For thirty to forty minutes we stopped the car alongside the mommy Rhino and her rather large calf.

I was fortunate enough on the day to be trying out the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens with matching 1.4x converter on an OM-D E-M 5.

The moment was spectacular. My oldest son in particular sensed the special nature of what we were seeing and hearing (since they were so close we could hear them eating through the open windows of the car).

There was an extremely heavy feeling in my heart when I was explaining to my sons that “bad men” were hunting and killing these magnificent animals just for their horns, and that they may one day never see the Rhino again like they did at that moment in time.

I will always relive that moment through these images. Make sure to not only capture subjects in photography, but make memories you will want to recall each time you review those images.

Capture Character

Sometimes even if an image is not 100% correct from a technical perspective, it can still capture the essence of your subject’s character. When such a thing occurs, it makes an emotional connection and brings the image to life and meaning in the eyes of those who behold it, knowing the subject personally.

The above image is such an example. Having a wildly creative imagination, this boy – taking a break from his school work for just a moment – looks up, almost as if he is looking into his own mind to escape the mundane task at had, if just for a minute.

While the image may lack precise focus on the eyes and the superior sharpness that some demand, it captures the essence of this child and his character to my mind.

(Shot with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 75mm f/1.8. Eyefi card to Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and share online.)

Lower Your Perspective


Perhaps the biggest change you can make to your images of people is getting to know them or see their world a little more the way they do. When photographing children taking pictures at their eye level is highly beneficial.

This picture has a totally different feel thanks to applying this approach. Having a camera with a flip out screen can help with that a lot. I often find this way of shooting far more discreet as well allowing moments which would end the minute the subject noticed I was raising a camera to my eye.

(Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 45mm f/1.8)

Pretending To Sleep


Sometimes we over complicate things. I think that is why I have been moving back to simply shooting black and white.
I took this image in both colour and in black and white. At the time I really thought that the red and cream stripes of the couch would contrast nicely with the dark navy golf shirt that makes up the school uniform but in the end I was wrong. Well, that is my view at least.

Unexpected Expression

Moms Eye on Pizza Boy

Perhaps one of the most important lessons to learn early on in your photography is to pay attention to the background.

Often in a moment of great excitement we snap an image only to look at it later and see light pile protruding out of someone’s head. On occasion the result can be humorous but that is the exception and not the rule.

I would venture to say that after you have mastered colour and exposure of an image to match what you see, the next biggest contributor to a moment not appearing in the still image in the same way you experienced, it is the lack of attention background when taking the image.

Sometimes though, the decisive moment happens in the background. That was the situation in this image at least. While I was trying to capture the boy enjoying his pizza, I did not notice at the time Mom’s reaction in the background. It made the image for me at least.