Whenever I am doing a light set up, I will grab some nearby unsuspecting person and ask them to stand where my client is going to stand.  9 times out of 10, if I am shooting at home, this is one of my kids.  Most of the time they grin and bear it and put up with me.  I play with the lights, change my settings and off we go.

Last night as I was working on a set up, I grabbed my 14 year old and asked him to stand “there”.  I got the same look as always do, but he obliged.  And as normal, the light were too hot, this was wrong, that was wrong etc.  After 3 or 4 minutes I got it to where I wanted it to be and off I went.

When I got to my Mac this AM and was downloading my images, I saw the shots of Jimmy and started to look at them.  Sometimes I glace at them, many times, I just move on; but this time, I kept going back to my first shot; the “its too hot shot”.  I put aside my “work” and started to play with his image a bit.  After I was done with it (about 4 more minutes later), I decided to print it to see what it would look like.  Normally, I will crop the image to whatever size I am printing.  This time, I was lazy and didn’t do that.  I told my little machine, please just size it to fit.  But just as I was about to hit the “size it to fit” button, I saw the below crop.  My software didn’t know where to crop, it didn’t know what I wanted.  It just said, this is how it is going to fit if you don’t do anything.

I didn’t plan for any of this; it just happened.  And that maybe is the best way to learn.  Just let things naturally happen.


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3 Responses to “Sometimes Mistakes Make the Best Portraits”

  1. I agree this came out just right. The composition is “accidentally” great

  2. rian says:

    well well.. lesson learned.. :) and yep, that definitely is a keeper.. :D

  3. Toni says:

    This is definitely a keeper, Chris. I agree, sometimes it’s best to just let things happen naturally. I think when we try too hard, it just looks like we tried too hard.