This past weekend, I was in Northeast Pennsylvania for a two reasons:
- To pick up my dog, Roxie, from my parents who had been dog-sitting her for the past month.
Roxie is a 14 year old Shi Tzu, so she’s well into the evening of her life. Though a bit hard of hearing now, she’s a spunky little pup. Frankly, we think she likes the slower pace that my parents have in their daily lives.
But the second reason was to be at the house for my dad’s 86th birthday. And because I was going to be there, I wanted to do some nice portraits of him.
We as photographers often spend many of our days photographing people we hardly know. We pull out our gear, get it all set up, have that subject or executive step onto our set, we snap a few portraits for that magazine feature or new Leadership page on the website, and that’s it.
Hopefully we captured them in a pleasing way that they and any editor likes.
I wanted to put that same rigor to a portrait of my Dad. Yes, I snap a lot of photos while I’m visiting, but I wanted to do a nice formal portrait of him.
Formal…but not to crazy. Since his heart operation a few years ago, he hasn’t been as steady on is feet. So, I didn’t want him to walk to far to get to the setup.
And I wasn’t going to use any strobes – just natural light. I decided to set up under our carport at around 10 a.m. Had some nice diffused sunlight coming in camera left.
And a fresh roll of Savage Universal Thunder Gray seamless paper to add a bit of formality.
And my Fuji X100T at f/2.0.
Production note: I didn’t bring my sandbags, so had to improvise for the weights to hold the seamless down (look down below the frame).
I also realized I didn’t bring clamps to stop the paper from fully unrolling from the top bar. I unrolled it very slowly to bring it down – if I had done it too fast, it’s like a train gathering momentum down a hill and before you know it, you have MUCH more paper unrolled than you need. And it’s a pain to roll it back up.
Then I took a few test snaps of my niece (who visiting from Canada) to dial in my exposure.
I liked where we were at. I thought the natural light was quite nice. After dialing it all in, we were good to go!
Time for the star of the birthday weekend to come onto the set and away we went!
Even snuck my mom in for a few photos!
And both of them! Married for 55 years!
And, as a finale, I had my niece snap a photo of my sister (her mom), my dad and me. For posterity!
We are the memory keepers, folks. Photograph your friends, family and lives as much as possible.
They are just as, if not more, important than all those landscapes, street, music and corporate photos we do.
Keep the memories.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019