This is my daughter, Rosie. Since 2013 we’ve been living apart as she now spends the majority of the time in the UK with her Dad whilst I am based in South Africa. It’s not the easiest of situations, but we manage to make it work.
I see Rosie about three times a year for a couple of weeks at a time and during at least one trip, I shoot portraits of her. This time we decided to take pictures in London and headed to the Barbican for some very urban style portraits.
I usually steer well clear of full sun during portrait shoots, it makes for very hard lighting which is not always flattering (especially for adults) but as the sun was shining which I wasn’t expecting, I got a bit creative.
The reason full sun isn’t always flattering is the hard shadows it casts, so it’s all about positioning to not have a shot ruined by lines in the wrong places. Poor Rosie had to close her eyes in between shots so she wasn’t squinting but I think the dramatic look to the portraits made it worthwhile.
Lighting is what makes or breaks a photograph. You can have a brilliantly composed shot but if it’s over or under exposed it will just look average. Even light (no hard areas of contrast) is the easiest to work with, but not always the easiest to find on a sunny day, unless you are in London surrounded by high rise buildings, then it’s everywhere.
You’ll notice that a lot of my work is backlit, I love the halo effect that’s achieved by having the sun behind a subject and the contrast it creates. We shot these images around 3pm which made the sun a bit lower so I could get these beautiful backlit shots.
Rosie is 13 now and I’m lucky to have quite an archive of images of her as she’s grown up. She’s always keen to have her photo taken (thankfully) possibly helped by getting a new outfit for the occasion and the promise of a restaurant dinner :). Here are a few more of my favourite shots.
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