Last weekend I found myself looking back at some photos I’d taken a couple of years ago.
At the time I remember thinking how pleased I was with them. It seems funny to admit this, but I think they were actually the first photos that made me think “hmm, maybe I’m alright at this and I should try and take photography a bit more seriously”.
Here’s one of them that I particularly love:
Whilst this photo still brings back very happy memories and makes me well up with pride to think that gorgeous baby is our daughter, what it doesn’t do is make me think “wow, that’s a great photo”.
In some ways that makes me a bit sad because I now look at this image and part of me can’t help but see a poorly composed image with the eyes almost central when they could easily be on a thirds line, the knee just slightly cropped losing any feeling of space around her to grow into, the fussy background and nappy distracting a little from the intended subject, and it’s a touch under exposed.
Despite that rather long and critical list, the most important things are still present, it’s in focus and it’s a beautiful subject.
In the two years that have past since this was taken I’ve taken around 20,000 more photos (according to my Lightroom catalogue) and have hopefully learnt a thing or two about firstly getting it right in the camera, but also about how to fix minor issues after the event.
I’ve just spent a couple of minutes with this image in Lightroom and just a few small tweaks turned it into this shot:
You can’t fix everything in two minutes in Lightroom but you can certainly make some significant changes.
Looking at these older shots made me think it would be interesting to create a similar scene for daughter number two who is now at almost the exactly the same age as Clara was when these were taken.
We’ve moved house since then so I couldn’t recreate the shot exactly, but the idea was the same, capturing the first efforts to sit up pre-crawling, taken on a bed.
Here’s an example of what I came up with for Eleanor:
In another two years I might be looking back at this photo and thinking of a list of things I should have done differently but for the time being I can just enjoy it for what it is, a photo of our stunning baby girl enjoying life.