This Christmas my wife and I visited our son Jeff and his wife Bei, along with our two grandsons, Stanley and Max, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Because the weather was snowy, we spent much of our time indoors, giving me an opportunity to take some photos of the family.
I did try to get a few family portraits. Generally, they were not successful because it proved difficult for me to get everyone's attention. Here is one of Jeff, Bei, Stanley, and Max. In this shot Jeff and Bei are OK, but Stanley is looking to his left and Max is a bit blurry. (Insufficient depth of field, I think.)
Another shot of everyone, including Geri and me and Bei's parents, Kay and Lin.
The was perhaps the best of some 20 attempts. The adults are OK, but both Max and Stanley are a bit out of focus. And the image should have included more in the lower portion.
Bei had me take a few shots of her and Max, and here is one of those.
Much better, I thought, although I should have had better depth of field. The whole exposure issue is an interesting one, as indoor shots generally involve much less light, creating a tension among shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. A solution is to include flash, but I am untrained in flash and am concerned that it will cause the images to appear artificial and "flat."
Most of the shots I took were semi-candids. I didn't ask the individual(s) to pose for the shot and didn't try to stage the shot. Instead, I took the shot that was available in the location available. Here are a few of those. First up, Max, who is 9 months old.
This shot appears a bit overexposed. However, I think that's because the background, including windows looking out on a snowy scene, is very light. For "portraiture" it helps, I think, if the subject is looking directly at the camera. Here is another shot of Max when he was not as happy.
This is not a shot you would frame, but it is a keeper if only for the emotions it conveys.
I liked the following shot of Jeff and Max Even though neither is looking at the camera, I think the photo says something important about their relationship.
Finally, a shot of Max enjoying his first Christmas experience, featuring a box big enough for him to sit in. Isn't that what boxes are for?
In some ways Stanley is an easier subject because at 2-1/2 years he is old enough to follow instructions, such as "Look at the camera" . . . if he wants to, that is.
I didn't take the following photo, but it caught Stanley in a listening mood.
I also liked the following shot of Jeff and Stanley on the evening that we visited the light show at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Taken at f/4.
The best shots, though were the more candid ones that tell a story.