Wouldn't it be nice if we always had that golden light and 70 degree weather to shoot in? Or if we could nail our white balance in camera and get all the settings just the way we want them?
But any photographer will tell you that time isn't always on our side and in many cases, we have to just go with what we've got- even when it's less than ideal. (I've included the image straight out of the camera at the bottom so you can see exactly what I mean!) It was 7:30-ish on a Sunday evening, the kids were all in their pajamas, and we had hunkered down for the evening with a movie while we waited for the inevitable robo-call informing us that school was cancelled (here in Richmond, it doesn't take much for us to freak out and shut down all the things). If that's not less than ideal, I don't know what is! We live in the city- our house located on a busy four lane road which is divided by a median. From my perch on our couch, I looked through our front door as the snow began to pick up and immediately noticed how the streetlight made the snow sparkle and glimmer, almost as if we were living in a real-life snow globe. I knew I couldn't pass this up.
And just like that, my five week "dry spell" came to an end.
I asked Ella to throw on some leggings under her nightgown and come outside with me (which she did with enthusiasm, topped off by a tutu skirt that she also wanted to wear). I already had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to capture, but it took us a few snaps before I found just the right angle and light. The city sounds that I was accustomed to were all but muffled by the stillness of the snow and the steady stream of traffic replaced by the occasional car gliding by.
Here's the little truth that I've discovered about being a "momtog:" I'm not doing this simply for a feeling of creative satisfaction. True, I've always had an interest and passion for art ever since I was a little girl, but when I'm shooting with my kids, there's another equally strong driving force at play: I want to remember this. I want them to remember this. This is more or less my scrapbook. There's a lot of pressure to be present with your kids and put the phone/camera/ipad down and just enjoy the moment with them, and I am ALL FOR THAT. I think it's important to have the discernment to know when to shoot and when to just be. Having said that, I also think you can be present with your kiddos while you're creating art. There was something magical about prancing around the streets with my 9 year-old on what would normally be a school night- catching snowflakes on our tongues, and laughing at the odd looks people were throwing as they drove cautiously by on the slick roads. We giggled and nearly froze, the snowflakes matting our hair. and then came in to warm up with hot chocolate. And she's still talking about it.
It was a night that neither of us will forget, and now, we have a few pictures to remember it by.
Shot with my Canon 5D Mark III + Sigma 85 mm 1.4 ISO: 4000 f/1.8 Shutter speed: 1/400 sec
And here's the image SOOC (straight out of camera). I didn't switch my white balance prior to shooting to compensate for the reeaally warm light from the street lamp, but was able to fix it in post (and also remove a lot of the distractions in the background).