Thursday, July 9, 2009

Photostory Friday: From Behind

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek



31 Posts in 31 Days: #9


You've probably seen a few of these pictures before, but bear with me -- I just thought of a new way to talk about them!




I got serious about photography, nearly twelve years ago, when my first daughter was born. The problem was, I had no idea what I was doing. I hijacked my dad's Canon SLR, and started pointing and shooting. I liked the results, so I kept doing it. I've never had any photography instruction.

That may or may not come as a surprise to you.

For years I kept my pictures to myself, and I never really interacted with any other photographers. I primarily shot my kids (that sounds deliciously irreverent and at the same time terribly wrong, doesn't it?), and over the years I discovered a few techniques for taking better (or at least more interesting) pictures.

When I began to associate with more photographers, I was surprised to see how many of them (most self taught as well) had discovered the same things that I had:

Shoot in natural light, whenever possible.

Never. EVER. Say cheese.

Zoom in close -- fill the frame.

Live in their world -- get down to the level of the child.

But the one that really surprised me was shooting from behind.




The idea of taking a picture of something from behind runs so counter to your initial photographic instincts, that I was sure I'd stumbled on some hidden gem of knowledge -- evidently I have an ego-centric streak.




EVERYONE does it.




I shoot my kids (there's that phrase again) from behind at least as often as I do from the front. I do the same thing when taking pictures of other people -- be it brides or families -- and, inevitably, THAT is the picture that gets the ooohs and aaahhhs. You'll notice, even my profile picture is shot from behind.




It's my favorite way to pose a picture, and I've tried, for years, to figure out what the appeal is, and I've finally decided that

CAUTION!!! HERE COMES THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CHRIS!!

for me any way, these pictures are full of life.




Animation.




Rather than capturing a static moment, they seem to convey movement -- the notion that you've dropped in, in the middle of something.





The idea that the story continues....

So, that's why I do it, why do you?

23 comments:

kris... said...

I love shooting from behind! I don't do nearly enough of it, though, and you've inspired me to do more! Great post! Beautiful pictures!

Robyn said...

I love shots from behind. They seem to catch the moment more sometimes. I am trying to self teach myself and like when others give their tips. I started thinking more about the other factors you mentioned more.

sunshinesls said...

Oh man....how nice Chris, I love the behind shots too...I tried some while in Michigan of my friend and her twin sister....love it!

kaye said...

I'm just in the learning phase and I'm learning alot browsing bloggyland. I am amazed at the visual world that is presented in so many different ways. You should check out a blog called "heaven is in belgium" she just shot some great shots of men play bocci, many from behind that are just terrific. nice post . . . and congratulations on day 9

Lori said...

Personally, I am just a fan of butts.
No other reason. :)

Steph said...

I love it too! I don't do it nearly enough, I need to remember that more often!
And beautiful shots! :)

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Ditto! lol! Not only do I wish I could shoot photos the way you do, but you are such a fabulous writer!

Great captures as always my friend!

botomst: the lowest point at the bottom.

Kacey R. said...

I love shots from behind. Like you said its like you've stumbled in to something in the moment. Like you're catching things in the moment and you didn't have to put things on pause to capture the beauty of it. Yeah, shots from behind are fantastic.

Jaysi said...

I think you are so right...you feel like you are a part of that wonderful moment. Love the behind shots!!

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I think I do it for the same reasons you mentioned...it's like you are telling a story without seeing a face. you are peering in on their world and it doesn't even matter to them. I also like candid shots -- when the person is totally off guard. I think those are 10 times better than any posed shot. The candid shots are when you get the "real" in the photograph. You know?

Oh. And I love your photographs.

Pam Emmons said...

I only shoot from behind cause you do. And it works.

Did I ever show the you the entire roll of film from our wedding that was shot entirely from behind (mostly the butt)?

scrappysue said...

i love shooting from the back too (so to speak!) it's just another way of capturing the moment, without it being posed.

Lindsay said...

Well darn it already....I think I do it because everyone else does it. I'm such a bandwagon jumper. But I just like it, too - for no other reason than that. It's cool.

Great shots....don't you just love SHOOTING your kids :-)

Maggie May said...

I love shooting my grandchildren from behind! (That sounds SO violent!)
The reason I do it is because I don't want their faces on the net!
However, I think it is a lovely way to frame a picture and it looks so natural.
I love the photos that you have published. It makes you feel like following them!
BRILLIANT!

Aaron said...

#1 - I think you just like butt shots.

#2 - That ear thing is still on your blog.

Corey~living and loving said...

I do it because YOU do, and YOU are the coolest. :)

okay...I also do it because it really does give the feeling that you have captured a stolen moment.

great post!

Happy PSF!

MomOf4 said...

These are really nice pictures! Shooting from behind makes it seem like you are there with the people in the picture...just following behind. :)

Emily said...

I'm am totally not a great photographer at all. (I would probably be a better one if my husband would actually let me get a better camera). But I love behind shots too...especially with kids. I like being able to see what they were so intent on looking at.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I so get this... the from behind adds so much more life and mystery to the shot. My kids thought I was crazy when I asked them to all line up, hold hands and walk across the bridge AWAY from me. They are the best pix!

Melissa said...

I love taking pics from behind... definitey gives it a certain "spontaniety" to it...
And what is the reasoning behind "never say cheese"?

Kat said...

Well, I haven't taken many from behind, but I think I'm going to have to start. I see what you are saying. They are gorgeous!

Susan said...

So very, very true!
I rarely do a family session where the parents don't specifically ask for that shot.
You certainly have become an accomplished photographer.

Cafe Mommy - said...

That shot of your daughter with the Disney Backpack is still my favorite. I shoot to keep the moment..to keep reliving it...I feel my kids are growing up too fast and the picture makes it memorable...imprenetrable in my heart!