documentary

March 2018 Storytellers Blog Circle by Andrea Moffatt

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This post is one of several in a monthly educational blog circle made up of storytelling photographers and Offset artists. After you read how I shot my storytelling image for the month, click to the next artist at the bottom of my post and follow the circle the whole way around. Enjoy!

I thought I would share an image this month that was HARD to make. It's also an image with which I'm not 100% satisfied. But it's a mistake to think that every image we shoot can and should be perfect. Sometimes, life gets in the way and we have to work with what we have. Does that mean we should avoid shooting that story and wait for better light, better composition? Absolutely not! Our lives are beautiful and happening right now: in mixed light, among clutter, and in less than ideal circumstances. We've got to do the best with what we've got.

The image below was an important one for me to capture because it marked the first time my husband was sharing one of his all time favorite books from his childhood with the boys.

ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/250sec 

ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/250sec 

Simple enough right? It would be a straight forward image to capture except... a few weeks ago, we got this new reading lamp in the living room. It's fantastic for reading, but it's my nemesis when it comes to low light photography. As you can see, it throws a pretty concentrated pool of light. The spotlight effect can be really lovely, especially if it's isolated as the only light in the room. For instance, if that spotlight had been the only light on and I would have backed up and shot very wide, the result could be stunning. 

Too bad that wasn't the scenario on this night! I was contending with the orange kitchen light in the background as well as the fact that my son was sitting up high on the arm of the couch so that the lamp was close enough to singe his hair. 

Because of how close his head was to the lamp, if I would have tried to expose for the faces of my husband and sons, that large bright patch on his head would have been utterly blown out. Knowing this, I exposed for the bright spot on his head. As a result, the rest of the picture was pretty dark and not only did I still have to burn down the highlight on his head a little more, I had bring up the exposure on their faces with a radial filter.

So there you have it. I got the picture- bottled that memory- even though the process wasn't pretty. I'd say that's fitting for a life that's not always pretty! 

Now keep on reading by clicking over to a new storyteller in our group, Stella Lebel in London. Happy reading!

Want to learn more about capturing family life in a meaningful way? Check out the course syllabus for my Click Photo School course beginning April 16th, The Family Story Keeper

A Trip Down Memory Lane by Andrea Moffatt

I opened the "doors" to Little Story Studio in 2012, but it wasn't until the second part of 2014 that I found my niche documenting family life. The very first session I shot in this fly-on-the-wall style was that of my good friends, Carolyn and Justin. They were totally open to letting me come to their house and follow them around for the evening. At the time, I didn't even have the correct gear, and some of the low light pictures could be technically better. But their session still gives me the feels when I watch it back. 

That got me thinking-- if my eyes well up with tears watching this old video, what do my friends feel and think when THEY watch it back? So, I asked! 

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June 10 on 10 project by Andrea Moffatt

.... the light was just so irresistible and I felt inspired. And the day didn't let me down- from morning till the sun's last rays it was beautiful. The breeze made the light shimmer through the leaves and left patterns on the walls and floors. I've been a bit uninspired lately, but it's days like these that make me happy I have photography to capture this kind of beauty. Here is June 9th, 2016 (10 images + one video)

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What is YOUR Story? by Andrea Moffatt

Ever consider booking an in-home documentary photography session, only to put it on the back burner because you don't know what part of your life is interesting enough to photograph? It's something I hear again and and again: My life's just not that interesting.  To that I say, do any of these moments look familiar? Do any of these moments look like something worth holding photographing?

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Documenting Your Child's Space by Andrea Moffatt

One of my favorite places to photograph my kids is in their bedroom. Why? 

Why NOT? Their bedrooms are like an extension of them. What they read, play with, hang on their walls, set out on their shelves... all tell a story about who they are now and who they are becoming. As you read the rest of this article, don't forget about older children and teens. It is at every stage of your son's and daughter's childhood that you will find satisfaction in this process.

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Tell Your Little Story: Photographing Your Real Life | Greensburg Photographer by Andrea Moffatt

It was 4:00pm and it was that Time of Day. Every day by that time, my feet ache, my nerves are frayed, the kids are tired, I'm hungry, etc. etc. etc. But with only an hour until dinnertime, collapsing onto the couch is the last thing I have time to do. Plus, there's always the chance that if I sit down I'll never get up!

On this day, I shuffled into the kitchen, still a little foggy-headed and craving a nap after reading to my oldest from his favorite chapter book series. I dug the chicken out of the refrigerator and turned around to see an overflowing and cluttered countertop. Every part of our day had contributed to the overwhelming mess in front of me.

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Story of Today: First Snow Play of 2016 | Greensburg Photographer by Andrea Moffatt

Finally. We were beginning to think the snow would never visit our little spot on the map. As soon as it began to fall, the kids' noses were plastered to the windows. I held them off as long as I could, but to no avail. I bundled them up till you could only see their squished faces and we out in the 18 degree cold. 

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Tell Your Little Story: Using Perspective | Greensburg Photographer by Andrea Moffatt

When you are storytelling, one of the simplest things you can do to tell all of the story is think about perspective. It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of standing in one spot like there is glue on your feet and ending up with 30 frames that are so similar you have play the "which thing is different" game to decipher which one you want to keep. To avoid falling into this trap, think:

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