Equipment and Settings:
The photograph was taken with a Canon 5D MkII with a 70-200mm lens (my favorite) at f/2.8. The focal length was70mm at an Aperture of f/4.0, shutter speed of 1/800 sec and ISO 400. I added a little light to the subjects using a Canon 580 EXII Flash on HSS softened by a small softbox.
This photo was taken in the fall in Two Rivers Subdivision. Mariah and Presley are friends who wanted some mother – daughter photos taken while there was still color in the leaves. We decided that the area behind their condo would make a great setting and I brought a bag of leaves that Presley could throw in the air. Great fun!
We started shooting inside their condo and quickly moved to the back yard where Presley could run and throw leaves. Throwing leaves is much more fun when you are two. Presley is a born ham and likes to try different expressions and poses to mimic her mom who has done some modeling. Some of these poses worked and some didn’t, and Presley went through stages of happy, excited, bored, and cranky. Normal for a two year old, right?
The key to this type of photograph is to capture the moment that shows the relationship between mother and daughter. Not easily done. Even though there was a lot of modeling going on, only a few shots caught the personality of mother and daughter. We worked our way down the path that led to the pond behind their condo, and when we got there we did some mother chasing daughter around the tree photos and Presley was giggling but running out of gas. She had been great for over an hour which is a long time if you are two.
As we wrapped things up (mom said we were done) the two models stopped to sit by the pond and mom told daughter how proud she was of her and what a great job she had done. Fortunately I hadn’t turned off my camera and they forgot for a moment that they were having their pictures taken. That moment that touches your heart was the moment I had been looking for . . . and is the subject of this photograph. It speaks to me of the special bond that mothers have with their daughters.
Getting the shot wasn’t difficult. The camera and flash were already dialed in to slightly blur the background and keep the mother and daughter in focus. I knew from other family photo shoots that I might get something special if I just waited and let everyone relax. Moments like this are 50% luck and 50% being ready to take the picture when something special happens.
All editing was done in Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom. The foliage along the far shore was brightened using a brush to increase vibrance. The photo was sharpened, and the masking was set to 50% to avoid sharpening faces. White balance was almost perfect as shot.