nelson family

The Nelson family photo shoot

9th October 2015

Background

On the 9th October 2010, Aidan and I were honoured to photograph the wedding of Jon and Jenny Nelson. Five years down the road to the day, I photographed a family shoot with them in Roundhay Park, Leeds. Part of the shoot was at same place I shot their pre-wedding shoot not long before their wedding. I thought it added extra significance to the shoot and Jenny agreed.

The shoot

The day morning of the shoot was amazing! The sun was out and that made a wonderful autumnal morning. We started up by the Mansion playing around with the fallen leaves. I brought a ground sheet with me and lay on my front taking photographs of the family playing. Very little of this shoot was scripted or choreographed. We wanted the portfolio to be as natural as possible. It hard to place enthusiastic and playful children in a shot. Making them sit quietly would look artifical, lack energy and not capture to spirit of this family.

nelson family

1. The Nelson's were playing around throwing the leaves under a tree. By placing them beneath the tree it meant the light would be mottled and patchy. You can see this on Jon's face. It makes the photograph more interesting.

nelson family

2. Harry throwing some leaves around. I used a square crop to isolate the action and remove any distractions. I love the light coming through canopy of leaves.

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3. This is one of my favourite shots. It just came about. Harry climbed onto Jenny's back and this is what came out.

nelson family

4. Maddy spotted a dog. If you did not know that the viewer would be left wondering what grabbed the family's attention.

nelson family

5. Here's Maddy!

Nelson family

5. Harry wandered off to produce this shot of dad, mum and daughter.

Nelson family

6. Someone likes to point.

Nelson family

7. Harry and Monkey.

We moved on from there to the place where Jon and Jenny had their pre-wedding shoot with me five years earlier. A lot has happened since then. You can see a photograph from this shoot at the end of the blog.

Nelson family

8. Harry tickling his dad's ears.

Nelson family

9. The Nelson's.

Nelson family

10. Harry.

Nelson family

11. Mole hill stomping.

Nelson family

12. I love the way Maddy has her hand on Jenny's shoulder and the way the sun filters through their hair. I placed myself in such a way so this would happen.

Nelson family

13. Again, shot into the sun to create the hair highlights.

Nelson family

14. Some ended up really muddy and covering everyone else in it too.

Nelson family

15. The Nelsons.

Nelson family

16. Jon and Jenny during their pre-wedding shoot at the same location in 2010.

Post processing

Most of the post processing was done in Lightroom. A bit of cropping, lens correction and I changed the white balanced from cloudy (even though it was sunny) to shade. The idea was to give a warmer and more autumnal feel to the photographs. Using the cloudy setting was not producing the effect I wanted, but shade did.

A render was also added to enhance the seasonal feel.

Photoshop was used to remove a small scratch just below Maddy's lip.

Technical details

A full-frame camera with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens was used throughout. The camera was in aperture mode because the lighting was pretty constant with the camera set at ISO 200, f/6.3. In some cases I added an extra two thirds of extra exposure especially when shooting into the sun. The camera was also set to centre metering. A bit of fill flash was used in the photos under the tree to reduce the shadows.

The whole shoot took just over an hour.

Your thoughts

comments

Please leave any thoughts, comments, questions or just say, "Hi!" (not literally) below. I really do appreciate feedback. E.g. What is your favourite photograph and why?

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