Adeline's mother (my sister) and I planned for a full photo shoot. It was going to be a “Mommy and Me” shoot; we had the location picked out and the clothes ready to go. Well…like André 3000 said, "you can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict weather.” After all the sunny and warm days this winter, on the day we scheduled the photo shoot it was 20 degrees. Since she’s only 17 months we couldn’t possibly subject her to brutal weather for the sake of photos. Instead, I spent the weekend hanging out and playing with my adorable niece. She’s growing so fast it’s hard not to feel like I’ll miss something if I don’t see her every day. I love the time I get with her; every day is something new: a new word, a new expression, a new depth to her understanding…it’s INCREDIBLE.
It was late afternoon and time for Ms. Adeline’s nap. Her mom went to the gym and her dad did some chores around the house. After a few hours her mom came home, and we noticed Adeline rustling around in her crib ready to sit up. We both went into the nursery with her papa right behind us. Her mom scooped her out of the crib and sat her on the floor. When she naps well, she wakes up happy and ready for the world. I was watching the interaction between mom, dad, and baby, when I was compelled to grab my camera. I came back with my Contax N1 and the CZ 50mm set at 1/30 and f/1.4 (so I thought) and started firing away. The nursery was dark and outside was very gloomy, but I didn’t want to shoot any slower than 1/30 because Adeline moves fast. After a few shots, I realized something didn’t seem right and checked the settings, the aperture was set at f/3.5—Ahhhh! This does not help me in low light, at all!! I quickly adjusted the aperture to f/1.4 and noticed the on-camera meter was now centered. I took some more photos and a few more the next day to finish up the roll.
When the images returned from the lab, the underexposed images were still usable, even though they were extra grainy and a little muddy. The other images were properly exposed; however, my preference is to overexpose for an ethereal feeling, but the low light situation, a fast moving baby, and my camera setting mishap didn’t allow for that. I still love the images because they convey this beautiful bond and connection shared between Adeline and her mom and dad. Candid photos have this way of making me happy; the smiles, the movement, the moment, the realness...I couldn’t recreate it even if I wanted to.