Skip to main content

Special Portraits of a Special Little Boy


Last year when I was working on my Fellowship panel I put out a casting call for children who would be suitable for the portraits I had in mind. In doing so I received a message to consider this little boy for my project. Unfortunately he was a little young at the time, being under 2 when really 2 was the minimum age I was willing to consider and in the end it turned out that 3 was the youngest I chose to work with. And this was for the simple reason that I needed the children to be able to follow instructions so that I could be very precise in my posing of them. But I couldn't resist this little boy and felt I wanted to work him.


You'll probably notice that the image above looks very similar to the one above it. I couldn't make my mind up which I liked best. To be honest I like the hand placement of the second image and the expression of the first. This is how closely I look at my portraits so try my best to make all elements just so. In each portrait I create I consider both hands and feet along with the lighting, props, clothing and finally the expression. For me the perfect expression without the other elements still just makes for an average shot. Its everything together that makes a great portrait.


I've had experience with children with Downs Syndrome before. As a young teenager I spent a lot of time babysitting one such child who lived down the road from me. I always loved his personality and to be honest never really saw him any different to the other children, apart from he seemed younger than his age. I also regularly photograph children of all sorts of abilities when I do the school photos at Menphys Nursery each autumn and there I've come across some real characters too. So I wanted to see if I could create the sort of portraits I did for my Fellowship panel with a child that might not follow directions as easily.


And it looks like I can. It wasn't as easy as some sessions but it wasn't the most difficult either and that is not to say it was anything to do with Downs Syndrome. He is a young child who has good days and bad like all other children. I've experienced the same difficulties with many other children. It could even go back to the idea that he just seems younger than his age. And not many 2 year olds perform perfectly for these sessions. And we may have been  asking a lot from him. He came to me straight from school which I think could have been part of the problem. Not only were we taking him out of his routine, but we were also asking him to work and be patient after a long day at school. With that in mind, I think he did very well. I got from this session almost everything I was hoping for. The only thing I was missing was the beaming happy face looking directly into the lense. If I managed to get that it would have been a perfect session.


So this is something I'd like to do again. I've been thinking for a while now that I'd like to begin a project that involves all sorts of young children with Downs Syndrome to see just what they can do and show the world that although they have their differences they are still very much the same as other children. In fact, I'd like to show that what makes them different is what also makes them very special.


I look forward to building on this idea of mine and hope to show more in the near future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before.


When I first heard that Phoebe was transi…

5 Reasons you Should Consider Getting a Professional Headshot

Headshots, or profile pictures are becoming a requirement of so many tools we regularly use or reference today. From Facebook to Linked In, Instagram to Twitter and often any website that represents a company for which you work or own will have a place to include a photograph that is meant to show your audience who you are. And how you present yourself there will tell your audience so much about you.


1. A profile picture is your first opportunity for your audience to see you. Its often the first impression you make and we all know you only have one chance at a first impression. A professional photographer has the skills to show you in the best, most suitable way to give a great first impression.

(These headshots were created for recruitment firm Optima UK who asked to have their logo placed behind them. I think it makes these headshots quite eye catching and they should do their job well.)

2. Using a professional to create your headshot will convey your professionalism to your audience.…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Here's What I Got Up to with Bowens at TPS?

Well we are finished once again for another year. It comes and goes so quickly these days and I spend most of it both loving and fearing the experience. I'm someone who thoroughly enjoys speaking to an audience but loathes the anticipation of it all. Well thats not strictly true. I look forward to the event until just before it when the nerves take over and turn my stomach upside down. And then when its all over I want to do it all over again. I'm already thinking of ideas for next year. (If you have anything you wish to see please get in touch. New ideas are always welcome)
I have to admit I was pretty impressed with the turnout for the demos on the Bowens stage. Each time I participate in one of these events I wonder just how many people will be interested in what I have to say. And each time I feel honoured and proud to see such a large audience. It was a fantastic experience and one I feel very lucky to be a part of. I asked for these images to be taken not because I like…

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week.

(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel)
(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers)
Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I can improve each…