Adam Stevens Photography

March 6, 2010

New favorite photo….

Filed under: Babies, Family, Kids, Personal — Tags: , , , — photobby @ 4:40 pm

I captured this a week or so ago as we were waiting for the Ash Wednesday service to start.  These are the kind of photos I want to take more of, and for other people too.

I’m coming at this from several different directions so I’ll break it down for you.  First is the image.

In kind of an image critique I see it like this…  I love the contrast of the soft young babies face and hands, and the older hands that are worn from loving little children for so long.  The lighting is nothing super special, in fact it really was wretched.  Very low light, very high ISO make it a natural for a B&W conversion.  Thankfully the light in the Narthex is soft and omnidirectional, so typically there are not any uber-bad shadows..  It is never much of a helper with a catch light, but frankly in something like this it would distract I think.  There is also a bit of a moment, she just noticed that she was “under observation” (by me, as in, she just became “camera aware”) and she’s thinking about how to react.  Technically I wish I had her a bit more to the right side of the image (for balance) and although I can’t (nor could I) do anything about it, I wish her hands were in more “relaxed” position, but it’s not in a studio, and I’m not posing her, so there you go.

What really makes this photo for me?  (After all, there are loads of cute photos of cute kids all over the place)  It’s the personal connection, I know and love both of the people in the photograph.  Most folks would probably give this a quick “cute kid” and move on.  But to those who know and love the little baby, and the hands holding her, it’s a lot more.  I posted this on Face Book and that’s when it really hit me.   The image was connecting more with the people who know our little girl and her “Nana” more than others, who don’t know them or, know them as well.  That’s what brings me the most joy from photographing for others.  When I grab a cute shot at a wedding or other event, I like to hope that it will connect with the people who know the subjects best.  Phrases like “that is so her” or “That’s so funny, because he does that all the time” are among the highest compliments I can receive.  The “great capture” “wonderful shot” “Wow that’s beautiful” are nice, but I would rather know that I have created something that connects emotionally with the people I am shooting for.  And since I was shooting for myself here, I would say I succeeded.



  1. I loved this picture when you posted it and I enjoyed reading your comments on it. There is no denying that your daughter is gorgeous (as I’ve told you before) but what attracted me were Jan’s hands. I can’t even begin to count the times that those hands held and comforted me; seeing that they still do the same to your daughter makes me smile.

    It’s a lovely picture, and you should be proud 🙂

    Comment by Meredith — March 6, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  2. Your comments say it all, Adam.

    I first went to the hands, too, but then got taken in by the eyes and the innocence of youth. Plus the trusting face adds a lot to the serenity of the picture.

    Comment by John — March 6, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  3. I think the composition is fantastic – her being a little more on the left side doesn’t bother me at all. I’m glad you didn’t cut off Nana’s arm.
    The hands are great – Nana’s hands are relaxed and at ease while your daughter’s hands are fitting for a child. The hands alone tell a great story. Your daughter will cherish this picture for many, many years to come.

    Comment by Tyler Wainright — March 9, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    • Thanks Tyler! Shots like this end up in my yearly book, I am a bit behind at the moment though….

      Comment by photobby — March 9, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

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