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Photography = Anticipation

 
 
 
 
 















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Monday, August 18, 2008

Photography = Anticipation





As you may or may not know I taught myself photography by shooting my own kids.

If you really want to capture your kids true spirit the most important rule is not a big camera or complicated lights but anticipation.

The photographs above were taken with a tiny Canon point-and-shoot. It was so bright at the beach I couldn't even see the screen on the back of the camera but i knew that if I got them both in the frame that I just had to wait for the right moment.

For example, the top photo is Isabel taking the sand sifter from Claudia with a let-me-show-how-to-do-this bravado. The photo is all about the look on Claudia's face because she knows she wont see the sifter again for a while, or until we intervene. It is such a classic moment between brothers and sisters. (to really get the shot, click on the photo to enlarge the image)

In the bottom photo, the snap on Claudia's top suddenly broke and she has this surprised/embarrassed laugh that shows just how cool she is and able to laugh-off her own embarrassment. Those are moments you can't script or re-shoot but when you see the elements coming together (like the two of them playing nicely with each other) then you just have to place yourself in the position to get the right light and angle. The photo "That Moment" posted July 14th was taken with the same idea - I saw the perfect light and the activity of people running into the show so I stayed in one spot and just kinda waited for something to happen. Most of the time nothing happens, but the few times it does the reward can be really great.

Comments on "Photography = Anticipation"

 

Blogger starbahks said ... (10:01 AM) : 

such great moments you captured!
your children are beautiful, and you capture their spirit perfectly.

 

Blogger Jessica said ... (10:01 AM) : 

Such great moments and such perfect photography!!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:02 AM) : 

aawww they're adorable
great photos!

 

Blogger Karina said ... (10:08 AM) : 

Ah, these are lovely - and give me hope for my own point-and-click aspirations! Thank you, once again.

 

Anonymous bobloblawlawblog said ... (10:26 AM) : 

out of context though, it doesn't sound so good you said that you shoot your own kids ;(

 

Blogger Harlen said ... (10:28 AM) : 

I appreciate the mini-tutorial of how you take pictures. Clearly it takes a lot of patience!

 

Blogger Carolina Lange said ... (10:35 AM) : 

So true! Amazing post!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:44 AM) : 

You are very good :)

 

Anonymous kagitsune said ... (10:53 AM) : 

Wow, thank you for the valuable insight into spontaneous photography! I can't wait until I get a good camera... then I could apply everything I've learned from this blog and other artists... :3

 

Blogger stivd said ... (11:15 AM) : 

Yes, the famous decisive moment; not nearly so spontaneous as popularly believed. I think Jeff Wall's approach has more in common with Cartier-Bresson than it might initially seem.

The shot on top is really fantastic! There are so many levels, and an incredible amount of counterpoint and thematic reinforcement; active/passive, near/far...

The kids are cute and the fluffy clouds are nice too!

 

Blogger Candace said ... (11:31 AM) : 

First of all, your kids are too adorable. Second, I have to agree with you on not needing to be a professional photographer. I've taken some really beautiful photos with my pretty basic digital camera. If the landscape/location is beautiful, it's hard to get it wrong.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:43 AM) : 

those pictures are great... sart, could you tell us exactly what camera you used???? i'm planning on buying a camera and i'd be really grateful for your help. i just went to the beach yesterday and took some photos with my friends camera, but the colors weren't as nice as the ones in your pictures... thanks!

 

Blogger S said ... (11:55 AM) : 

They are so beautiful and I these photos capture so much joy, they're stunning.

 

Blogger Claire, said ... (12:24 PM) : 

Oh yes! I learned, am learning, and my children are patient studies. Love your blog. Cute kids!

 

Blogger NYSFgirl said ... (12:38 PM) : 

Good advice, Scott. Henri Cartier-Bresson mastered and was credited as the father of this type of photography, which he named "The Decisive Moment." He said explained it as "the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms that give that event its proper expression." This became a universal philosophy for photographers, and it's the combination of the human instant plus the "organization" (composition) that makes a shot art. One of his best known photographs was of a man jumping a puddle in the railroad yards of Paris, capturing the instant just before his foot will crash through the placid surface of the water -- I bet many of you have seen it. His gorgeous book, "The Decisive Moment" (1952), is still available, if you have a few thousand dollars to spare. ;)

 

Anonymous suzanne nelson said ... (12:50 PM) : 

Your children are beautiful and clearly having so much fun! How about asking both of them to take a picture of you wearing your panama and posting the results? It's always good to see how kids see things.
Thanks for such a lovely post.

 

Blogger -h of candid cool said ... (1:33 PM) : 

the expression on your girls' face in the second shot is so cute and hilarious!!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:35 PM) : 

The photos are vibrant and full of life! I'm not a beach person, but these photos make me feel like I am there!

 

Blogger Selin said ... (2:09 PM) : 

i love the colors

 

Blogger x miss nina said ... (2:40 PM) : 

I have always thought Canon makes the best point & shoots. These are beautiful!

 

Blogger Virginia said ... (2:47 PM) : 

lovely entry

 

Anonymous Lisa said ... (2:58 PM) : 

They're beautiful. :) And yep. I teach photography and I always insist it's not the gear. It's the eye, being in tune with your surroundings and knowing what and when to shoot. There are photographers who shoot with point-and-shoots that take pictures that could make a lot of DSLR users weep.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:01 PM) : 

Are you in Malibu, brother Sart?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:05 PM) : 

Ach, such cuties!

Serendipity.

The breaking wave on the the right of the bottom photo somehow adds to the glee.

-- desertwind

PS - Using "the moment", last summer you made a great set of pix in Milan. A downpour hit just as people arrived for a show. You stationed yourself under an overhang at the bottom & around the corner of a curved driveway. You captured them at the moment they rounded the corner.

 

OpenID kafkaesque08 said ... (3:09 PM) : 

I wanna play in the sand now, under beautiful sky. So inspiring. Le sigh. :P

 

Blogger Maggie May said ... (3:18 PM) : 

simply beautiful and the stuff of life. i have a boy and girl as well!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:04 PM) : 

Love the pictures of your children - love pictures of all/any children.Actually I love children.
But looking at children is not why i appreciate this site. No it definitely is not.
And I am not one tiny bit interested in learning to take pictures. I just want to look at them, get inspired by them.

 

Blogger Bombchell said ... (4:21 PM) : 

wow lovely photos.

I guess practice might make perfect after all.

 

Blogger matt said ... (4:41 PM) : 

You must be doing something right as if I was to take those shots the whole sky would be overexposed and white.

 

Blogger d2fang said ... (4:43 PM) : 

Awesome photos - these prove that true photographers don't need high end equipment to make art!

 

Anonymous Nitasha said ... (5:54 PM) : 

I've been most impressed by these pictures and the one of you. What an amazing moment and a true testament to your ability to recognise and capture it. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

 

Blogger K E S H said ... (6:37 PM) : 

thats how ive been teaching myself photography. i had a £60 canon point and shoot too and it's going great!

cute kiddies!! great shots xx

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:40 PM) : 

Thank you for letting us in and allowing us to see your family during vacation. With you as their dad, they deserve two front row seats to all the shows.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:32 PM) : 

its beautifull. Thank you

 

Blogger julia r said ... (7:46 PM) : 

so refreshing to hear that someone at your level is self taught.

i am the same and am currently shooting a lot with my my canon point and shoot. i have a lot of friends that are professional photographers who all went to school and it feels good to see some sort of vindication!


i love your work. i want to be the she-sartorialist. hah!

julia r.

 

Blogger Margaret said ... (8:11 PM) : 

Couldn't agree more about anticipation. Autofocus helps too. I was taking pics of my younger child when the older one stuck his head in front, sideways. Autofocus meant I got the shot - cheeky, audacious, out there, knows he's being a stinker (think Donkey from Shrek) IN FOCUS older son in the front, with out of focus, noisily protesting younger son in the background. Every parent knows it - but capturing it, there is the rub!

And Anonymous at 11.43, and kagitsune at 10.53 - I think the point is it doesn't matter too much which camera you have. Photography buffs will argue the ins and outs of different cameras (walk into a room and say "Nikon or Canon?" and watch the fur fly!) but the single biggest differentiator is the photographer.

 

Blogger Isabella said ... (9:10 PM) : 

They're so lovely. Yeah def. the camera should indulge the kids, not the other way round.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:19 PM) : 

Really, the best part about her bathing suit snapping is the other one's face. She really has the squealing with slapstick laughter look. I love that.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:59 PM) : 

Alas our beloved Sartorialist is taken! You have adorable children.

 

Blogger Mary Pi said ... (12:01 AM) : 

i´m glad to visit here and get inspired by your images, the "eye" for beauty in its best. congartulations.

 

Blogger ilay said ... (1:36 AM) : 

your kids are adorable !

and loved the instructions. so beneficial.

 

Anonymous lis said ... (2:52 AM) : 

Totally inspiring post! In fact, keeping you in mind, I snapped some photos at a baby shower recently. I thought about background, lighting, spontaneity, all the things I love about your work...and, voila, success! Okay, so not every shot was a gem, but I got a few really really good ones! Thanks, Sart!

And, by the way, those kids are pretty darn cute!!

 

Anonymous Niña Mendoza said ... (3:32 AM) : 

Great tips, lovely website. Thanks for the inspiration.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:41 AM) : 

Sart, these are truly amazing photos. My heart warmed looking at them. Thank you for sharing and thank you for explicating some of your technique. Wonderful.

 

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said ... (5:05 AM) : 

Your children are beautiful as are these photos.

I have a Canon point and shoot. When I did research for which camera to buy, Canons came highly recommended.

I'm still learning the ins and outs of the camera but I love it.

I've been taking photos of mostly places and things since I moved to Italy. (it's a very beautiful place) but I would like to shoot more people in the future. Your advice is very helpful.

I had no idea you were self-taught. wow.

 

Blogger PMD said ... (5:39 AM) : 

lovely snap...


Regards,
Jeetu
Packers & Movers
Packers Movers Information

 

Anonymous Laurent said ... (6:49 AM) : 

Very original snapshots !
Yes, photography is definitely emotion.

Hope to meet you one day, in an European street ?

 

Blogger My Greatest Intervention said ... (7:14 AM) : 

the present moment is the difference that makes a difference - inspiring pics!

 

Blogger Regina said ... (7:51 AM) : 

Your girls are great, and the pictures are sooooo bautiful!!!!!!
But in fact what makes them great is your loving way to look at them - the girls.
Just loved them!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:12 AM) : 

lovely kids
xxxx

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

This is beautiful.

 

Blogger Miguel said ... (10:02 AM) : 

Nice kids and a perfect sky...

 

Blogger Shrink Boutique said ... (10:28 AM) : 

This is quite true. I minored in photography but I am mostly self-taught. I still shoot film on an old Nikon FM and F80 and people give me shit all the time for not being digital yet they like the shots and more importantly the moments.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:47 AM) : 

thanks for this great tip bro!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:48 AM) : 

thanks for this great tip bro!

 

Anonymous kathrin@twoforfashion.de said ... (11:50 AM) : 

your girls are very cute, is this in long island? Are you back then in New York? And up for an interview? It would be such an honor to feature you on my blog twoforfashion.de
kathrin

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:07 PM) : 

Completly agree about the camera, as long as the light is sufficient a simple click and go camera works fine.
By the way, great shots and lovely kids. //Ghost

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:08 PM) : 

Completly agree about the camera, as long as the light is sufficient a simple click and go camera works fine.
By the way, great shots and lovely kids. //Ghost

 

Blogger Just an Observation said ... (12:43 PM) : 

Absolutely adorable moments.....cute kids btw.

Thanks for sharing the tips on picture taking, can't think of a better place to apply them then when trying to capture moments with family in candid and inpromptu instants!!

THXSAR!

 

Blogger Barbara said ... (2:19 PM) : 

I'm really loving the vacation shots! It's nice to have something besides street wear every once in a while. Plus, we get to look into your life.

 

Blogger Erin Sonoda said ... (3:22 PM) : 

I love these pictures they are great!

Just wondering how you travel all the time to many different countries and still have time for your family? Do your daughters ever come with you on trips? Just curious...

 

Blogger Esmée said ... (4:16 PM) : 

Great pfoto's! Really love them:)

xxx

 

Blogger Stefano said ... (5:19 PM) : 

Trully inspiring...

Congratulations for the pictures, the beautiful kids and, always, for the Blog!

Ciao ciao

 

Blogger Peter said ... (9:31 PM) : 

Scott, what's your policy on dressing children? Do you buy in to the children's designer lines? Do you to take them to a store and let them choose?

I think Glenn O'Brien said it best when he suggested that you dress your children simply and conservatively and let them make their own mistakes when they're older.

 

Anonymous Lola said ... (9:38 PM) : 

cute...but fashion posts soon right????

 

Blogger Tinkerbell and fairies said ... (9:41 PM) : 

breathtaking picutures!

 

Blogger Jeffrey Byrnes said ... (12:32 AM) : 

One, I didnt know you taught your self photography. Two, you can capture some very good moments with your camera. Three, even the smallest of cameras can produce a great photograph when you have the ability to capture the fleeting moments.

 

Blogger Fabulously Lizy said ... (1:22 AM) : 

We spent Sunday afternoon lounging on the beach in Laguna. It was amazing. I'm missing our perfect Sunday afternoon already.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:59 PM) : 

These were shotted with the heart!
Carpe diem Sart.
Cristina

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:56 PM) : 

amazing photos! i would believe you if you said you took them with an SLR. i think its awesome that you say that photography is about the anticipation, because a lot of times i tend to think that people with all the pricey gear are the best photographers (not always true).

 

Blogger hopsmaltyeast said ... (4:02 PM) : 

Beautiful photos of adorable kids.

Love the description that goes with the photos as well.

My daughter tipped me off about your blog and thought I would enjoy it. As usual, she was spot on. This is great.

Thanks

 

Blogger Modelizer said ... (5:11 PM) : 

I'm kind of surprised at how much praise you're getting about being self taught, even though I went to Parsons for photography, I still feel like I'm self taught. All art is self taught, even if you go to school for it.

Point and shoot cameras are just as great as the big ones, I'm glad that you're able to remind people of that! It's about knowing what you want to capture/ capturing it, then the actual item used to capture it.

 

Blogger MyraMyra said ... (8:42 PM) : 

Reminds me of vacation days with my brother. Photos make such great, captured memories.

 

Blogger Ani said ... (2:15 AM) : 

this is a wonderful picture i love the background the powerful spirit of the children.. :0)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:57 PM) : 

These are lovely! And how did you get the colors to show up so vividly? My beach pictures tend to always look washed out.

 

Anonymous taylor said ... (1:08 AM) : 

Claudia seems like a really chill girl.

 

Blogger Kitschen Pink said ... (6:43 PM) : 

I love it when you great photographers say "oh look it was only a point and shoot". for me it just goes to show that it's not about the equipment but the artist using the equipment! Great photoes, and what a pair of cuties!
I once attended a lecture by Quentin Blake, children's illustrator. He always illustrates the moment before the event in the written word. Take a look - it'll make you laugh.
I'm off to sit in the kitchen and get ready for a great shot to happen by...... t.x

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:23 PM) : 

Nice tip, I appreciate you sharing y our thoughts

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:49 AM) : 

Thanks for taking me back to my childhood vacations on the jersey shore with my two sisters. Your children are lovely. And you have inspired me to take more pictures of my husband and four-legged children with my not-so-fancy camera.

 

Blogger Gina said ... (1:50 PM) : 

Photographing kids, as you describe, is a lot like photographing puppies. You can't wait for the right moment; you just click, and click, and click and if you're lucky, you'll have maybe one or two really great shots that capture the spirit.

 

Anonymous wen Di said ... (7:51 AM) : 

i know this comment is being posted at a much later date, but i was not captured primarily by the photos of your children, but the first sentence of this post. i find it extremely inspiring that you are a self taught photographer. so much is taught in school now that can take away from the experience and passion that is discovered when teaching yourself an art. hats off...

 

Anonymous Tips Photo said ... (1:30 AM) : 

These are great pictures, thanks for posting them.

 

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