Ella, San Clemente CA copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale
Over the weekend I was “commissioned” to photograph my daughter’s family for this year’s Christmas card. While I was adjusting the camera position and ambient lighting Ella volunteered to be my test subject while I was tweaking the exposure settings. At first she was all about acting out for the lens but after I was taking a little bit too long during the set-up she became a bit bored and then pensive.
Between us, I find if I seem to take “too long” that soon the camera is forgotten and my subject begins to relax and drop the perceived requirement for a “smiley” face.
As to this portrait it is a quasi-environmental photograph and I did not want to crop it too tight. Perhaps an influence of the photographs by Irving Penn when he began to reprint his earlier work that he then included, not excluded, the backdrop in his portraits. The resulting composition above is an investigation of a girl who is in a transitional time of her life.
I am rather delighted with the results.