photo tip {prepping for the moment}

Constantly talking about ice skating, our oldest daughter has been dreaming of getting on the ice for the first time. The other kids weren’t interested, so Chris and I planned a special night just for her. We took her to dinner and told her a big surprise was in store for her. Next, Chris began telling her about an outdoor ice skating rink and how her dream was about to come true. We were going ice skating!

I’ll treasure this picture…

1.15skate-07While downloading pictures from the night, I thought it might make for a good little photo tip post. So here goes…

When we arrived at the restaurant, we chose a table near the windows. I knew going into the night that I wanted to capture her reaction to the surprise news. As we began to sit down, I pulled out a chair for her that was opposite the windows. I sat with the windows to my back. The sun was quickly setting, so I was hoping to get as much light on  her face as possible. Also, the seat I picked for her meant there wouldn’t be strangers in the background of my image.

I thought through all this in a matter of seconds as we approached the table. She and Chris just followed my lead, unaware I was picking seats based on a goal to get light for a photo.

As we began munching on chips and salsa, I got out my camera to pick out my settings. It was pretty dark. The shot below is a sample of one of my practice shots while I was playing with settings.
1.15skate-01As I was playing, the shades covering the windows suddenly lifted and I might have let out a squeal. I adjusted my settings to ISO 2000, 1/125, f/1.8. She was distracted and didn’t even notice my camera.1.15skate-02Once I was ready, I nodded to Chris and he began telling her the surprise news. I was able to capture a series of photos that tell the story of her delight.1.15skate-031.15skate-041.15skate-051.15skate-061.15skate-071.15skate-08

Sometimes capturing a moment just takes a little thought beforehand. It doesn’t have to take tons of time, but if you can make the most of lighting and take 20 seconds to pick your camera settings first, the results are often worth it.

We finished dinner and headed to the rink, where her daddy took her hand on the ice and her dream came true. I think his might have too.1.15skate-10She fully believed she would step on that ice and be able to spin and twirl on her own. Instead, she learned sometimes things are much harder than they look and sometimes daddy’s arms are not only safer, but more fun.1.15skate-11Before the night ended, she stood on her with her daddy close by if she fell.1.15skate-121.15skate-13I wore my mom’s ice skates from the 70s. I made it one lap around the rink,  holding the wall the whole time. I needed someone to catch me if I fell. So, I put my boots back on and did what I love – I watched them dance.

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