Recreating Old Photos: Colin and Dad, Colin as Dad

December 11, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I've offered some tips on how to replicate lit photos, with the cheat of "look into their eyes" but what about when you don't have eyes looking at you and the only eyes in the frame are a tiny baby?

Colin has had this photo of his dad holding him as an infant on display since before I knew him. A copy also hangs on the walls at his parent's house. When we had Adeira, we though it would be fun to try and replicate it. Trying to match how the light shaped around him arm and hit Colin's baby face was tough to replicate.

We tried half-heartedly with a flood light, it didn't look great and Colin focused so much on trying to match the hold (with a particularly squirmy and poopy baby) that he didn't look nearly as relaxed as his dad had and the lighting looked terrible. I don't know how he looked so relaxed AND triggered a film camera with the hand out of frame, Colin at least had me to take the photo, not to mention the benefit of digital.

But a few days later, I convinced Colin to try again with proper lights. Though still a simple set up of just a single Elinchrom ELB 500 and portalite softbox. Granted our girl had a bit bigger of a belly (hurray!) than Colin had as a newborn in the original photo, but also Colin grew more of a beard thanks to being a few more days into his family leave and not needing to shave.

Beyond trying to copy the original, I'm so pleased we took time to take such a special photo of Colin and Adeira. But perhaps it will become a tradition that our children's children will replicate with their children.

I also tried to seize the artsy opportunity to strip down shirtless and have Colin take some of me, not all photos are for public consumption. :P


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I am a sports photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I primarily photograph sports (action, events, and portraits) ... and my feet.




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