Framed By Flora

One of the (many) challenges of portrait photography is trying to come up with new ideas. In this instance, I was photographing a mum and her new baby in a stunning location overlooking the Cotswolds.

The property had a beautiful garden, with a path leading into the distance. I have always liked pictures of people walking away as it seems to have a story about it (go look at E.H. Shepard’s illustrations for A.A. Milne and you’ll see what I mean!).

Get the low down

As I often do, I’ve adopted a low viewpoint by lying on the floor. This gave me the framing I wanted, with the edges of the path leading your eye towards Tiffany, and the leafy trees framing her overhead.

I had to compromise on the composition slightly. I could have moved slightly to the left to get the trees to be symmetrical around Tiffany, but then I would have lost the symmetry of the path, which I felt was more important.

Overlapping feet

I asked Tiffany to walk slowly away, as if she were walking along a tightrope. Following this instruction gave her a beautiful foot position, and then I simply timed my shots for that millisecond when her feet overlapped like you see here.

In this instance I wanted Iris to be looking at the camera. Luckily, she was curious about what I was up to so she watched me throughout!

To finish, I’ve gone for a black and white conversion, with a small amount of colour in the mid tones to warm it up. I’ve also added a slight vignette in the corners to draw the viewer’s eye to the centre of the frame.

I’m the first to admit that my portraits aren’t perfect. In this instance, I wish Tiffany’s foot wasn’t dirty… Hopefully, most people’s eye will be drawn to Iris, but once you’ve seen these things, you can’t ‘un-see’ them!

Camera Settings

  • Focal length: 105mm
  • Aperture: f/5
  • Shutter speed: 1/500 sec
  • ISO: 100