Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taking "sleeping" shots with a flash

Okay, so EVERY parent, esp us moms LOVE to take pictures of our babies sleeping. There is just nothing more cozy, more peaceful than a child at rest. For me, at least I like to take pictures to PROVE that it happens. My 6 year old is a whirlwind and sometimes it's hard to believe he actually stops for those 8+ hours of sleep...because goodness knows, he doesn't stop any other time.

Anyway, the issue is lighting. After all, sleeping doesn't tend to take place in full daylight...well except for nap time, but that's not the issue here.  I love the night time shots, the they've been asleep for 4 hours and I'm trying to capture that full on sleep with abandon pose that I see checking on them before I go to bed. So it's dark.

But unless I have granite hands or a tripod, on top of a motionless subject (which is possible, they are sleeping...) I am going to end up with a grainy, or blurry shot of SOMETHING.. so then you think, OH. here's where I use my flash! but, then you worry about a flash RIGHT at the face of your sleeping child...ooooh, yeah, can we say startled awake? SO what do you do?

YOU BOUNCE IT. That's right...I take pictures of my kiddos sleeping, or anytime really when I NEED a little bit of flash but not a lot..But, I am too broke, and too cheap to buy special flashes that bounce off the ceiling or wall instead I use whatever I can find around me, and the out comes are interesting. And I have some shots to show :)

These have NO editing...I know, I rarely show my SOOC shots but here we are.

This was with my flash, my lovely daughter decided to play nice and not wake up yelling at me over the flash ;) It's quite harsh with the lighting, doesn't look peaceful, and the hard shadow across her chest is a bit much.

So then I grabbed a piece of paper, and too the one on the right using the paper to bounce the light off the wall next to the crib (to the right).

I just hold it at an angle in front of the flash about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch away from the flash

It's so much softer, and not much correction is needed. Most of the flaws we can see in the flash shot are missing naturally in the shot with my trusty diffuser.

So there you have it, next time you want to take a shot of your children sleeping, bounce the flash off the wall...the flash doesn't go RIGHT into their eyes and you get a better shot over all w/o a tripod or extended exposure.

I've also been known to use my baby girls socks to diffuse the light a bit. A white sock works best of course, but experiment. Because I've also used pink, yellow and lavender socks and have found that they add something too in that they color the light. But most of all have fun!

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