Skip to main content

Superclass at the Societies Convention on Child Portraiture

This is already starting to feel like ages ago even though it took place less than a week ago. But I thought I'd share with you what we got up to at 9am on Sunday after the Awards dinner.

I began the class with the usual Power Point going over what to consider when planning portraits. We covered clothing choice, appropriate props, lighting patterns, white balance and more.  And then we went into a lighting demonstration.

(Thank you to Lee Broders for supplying me with some images - I've never had any photos of me working like this before)

I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful little boy named Noah join us as my model.  He made the journey from Leicestershire just so he could model for me (and enjoy a day out in London).  I was so glad he came in the end because he did exactly what I wanted him to.  He posed lovely in his usual sweet style and helped keep me at ease when demonstrating.  You never know what you will get with children and having a room full watching isn't the easiest place for a 4 year old to perform, but he did.


During this class we talked a bit about posing, lighting, sorting and processing.  In the end there was so much to cover I'm not sure I did it all justice and perhaps next year this could actually be 2 separate talks.  I'm sure I could have stretched this to 8 hours.  I'm just not sure how best to break it up. Any suggestions are welcome.

I would like to share a few finished images.  The first 3 illustrate the differences in fill intensity, as we briefly discussed during the class.  I would have preferred a much stronger contrast between the 3 but hopefully this explains it well enough.

(A Strong Fill Light)

(Fill Light that I think is just right)

(No Fill Light)

Now as I said during the class, this all comes down to personal preference and the subject at hand. Consider the image you wish to create when setting your lights.  The key light is where the correct exposure must come from.  The fill light just opens up the shadows to the degree that you feel is necessary.  And thankfully we shoot digital so its easy to see if we are getting what we want quit quickly.  The more you get to know your equipment and your desired effect the easier it will be to set the lights without even thinking about it.  


And here is another image where we tried to get the white background to go very dark.  This is something that is easy to do with a little more space and a grid applied to the keylight to stop the fall off from reaching the paper.  Unfortunately we were just a little too close and too much light was hitting the background paper.  But hopefully you still get the point.  

I've finished these images as covered during the class. This is also typical of the way I often process my own studio work and it is much the same as the work I did on my Fellowship panel.  

For those in the class I hope you gained a lot from it. You are welcome to get in touch if you have any questions.  And for those not in the class, maybe I will get to see you next year.  I will hopefully be speaking there again.  In the meantime if you wish to attend a class with me, either as a group or on a one to one basis please get in touch.  You can reach me on 01455 611069 or email me at christina_lauder@btconnect.com.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Teen Portraits - Prom Season is Just Around the Corner

If your child is heading to prom in the next couple of months I'd say there is probably no better time than now to have portraits created of your growing teen. With the purchase of a new (and probably expensive) outfit wouldn't it be nice to capture this milestone with a portrait created by a professional.


Across the pond this is a hugely popular time to create portraits, and although I am not American (I'm Canadian) I wholeheartedly agree that this is a special moment to record. My prom was a key memory in my teen years and in fact I myself had professional portraits created also. I think I'll go dig them up if I can, though admittedly I think my mother has them back in Canada. I wonder if I can get her to scan one for me.


My daughter is currently making plans for college and in the running is one that will move her away from home, as many others are probably experiencing for themselves, particularly those who are 18. This makes it all the more important to create so…

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…

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

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…

Experiencing Photography in the Real World by Sophie Clarke

My name is Sophie Clarke and I am from Redmoor Academy. I spent the week doing work experience with my friend Isabelle at Christina Lauder Portraits. I chose to do my work experience with Christina as I have a very keen interest in photography and I wanted to know more about being a photographer as a career. From spending the week with Christina, I have now learnt that being a photographer isn’t just about taking photos; there is so much more behind it.
Isabelle and I testing the lighting and set up for prom

On the first day, we mainly watched Christina develop some of her images on the computer using software such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Colour Efex. This has now taught me new skills because before I didn't really have any knowledge about these, so I will now be able to use what I have learnt in my own work. The next day, in preparation for a trial prom shoot, Isabelle and I helped set up and put the props in place. Whilst Christina was photographing the client, she taught us a…