Making It Look Easy

MeltonThere is so much I love about photography. And oddly enough, one of things I love most is sweating my fool head off so the end result looks effortless. Like this portrait of the Meltons. It was the two days after the Fourth of July, the humidity was so thick you could slice it out of the air like butter. But I kept the family inside in the AC so they would stay cool and comfortable. The home in the background was lost deep in gloomy shadow, so I set up three (3!) strobes to light the house with a sunny, middle of the day feel. (All the strobes were carefully hidden out of sight.) There was a big plate glass window on the house that reflected a huge glaring hot spot from one of the strobes. So I had the family bring out a red, white, and blue quilt to cover it. Hot spot gone, patriotic theme enhanced. And then finally, just as everything was ready to go, heavy dark clouds rolled in and it began to sprinkle. So I dialed in my camera exposure, adjusted the strobes, and what you see here is the result. Does the day look humid? Is there a gloomy, about-to-storm feel to it? Of course not! It looks like how the family feels—sunny, happy, summertime love. I would do anything to create great family portraits. Family is that important.

Tom Launius, CPP