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Week 2: Winter portraits by the beach huts

January 17, 2013  •  4 Comments

Beach huts on Shoreham Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.  Photo by Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

After a rather grey, wet and generally uninspiring week, in which my camera remained firmly in its heavy duty waterproof rucksack, I awoke on Sunday to a very welcome break in the clouds.  The plan was (well, my plan, anyway) for the kids to play/watch football with Adur Athletics, while I took myself off to the beach mid afternoon to take seascape photos before the light faded.

So when my daughter announced (quite rightly) that it was way too cold to be standing on the sidelines, and that she was coming with me, I had to come up with a plan B for my blog.  In the event, the late afternoon sunlight falling on the row of mostly white beach huts was rather lovely, and my eight-year old was in willing mood!

 

Portrait of girl at beach hut, Shoreham Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, by Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

The dark storm clouds rolling in added interest to the sky, so I took the first photo lying down on my back, to capture as much of the sky as possible.  The position also had the added benefit of helping me to stablise my camera - I've found that tripods and eight-year-olds don't mix!

I've also learnt over the years, that to get great portraits of kids, you need to work quickly and keep it fun!  So we turned it into a game, running from one beach hut to another and playing peek-a-boo through the open sides of the huts.  I used the wooden frames to frame my daughter, asking her (nicely!) to hold still every once in a while.  I chose the blue-edged hut as a backdrop (above) to add colour, and deliberately over-exposed the photo to focus on the face and the detail of the two locks.

 

Portrait of girl by beach hut on Shoreham Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.  Photo by Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

I love the natural smiles when kids are having fun - this was the last one I got before the cold started to bite and I knew our session was almost over!  

Just time for an atmospheric shot of the fading light.  For me, the presence of the little bundled-up figure, walking away is what makes the next photograph.  That's probably why I'm first and foremost a people photographer rather than a landscape one.  That, and the fact that I'm not really what you'd call a morning person.... although I am planning to challenge this later in my blog!

 

Portrait of girl walking along sunlit beach huts on Shoreham Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.  Photography by Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

Not one to put my camera down easily (especially when the light is this gorgeous!), I walked beside my daughter until we reached the last beach hut, then, with camera lens ready zoomed in, asked her simply to turn and look at the camera.  I love how the soft side light catches her eye, and the natural expression on her face, framed by her snood.

 

Portrait of girl in natural, soft winter sunlight.  Taken on Shoreham Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.  Photo by Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

Well, as I write this, the forecast is for snow tomorrow - fingers crossed for some wintry landscape opportunities for a forthcoming blog post!

Thanks for all your comments last week - please do keep them coming.  Next week I'm posting some panoramic landscape images of Shoreham-by-Sea I took earlier this week.  This time with tripod and all kids in school!


Comments

Elvisay Vazquez(non-registered)
Love your pictures...Maybe in the first one is a little bit burn by the bushes and the end...The one where the girl is walking, I would like to see her whole body walking. Nut in general, I love the meaning of your pictures... they have a story. Thank you for sharing them!!!
Clive HR(non-registered)
Fantastic photo's - great to actually see them!
Alison(non-registered)
Can't wait to see your winter 'morning' photos!
Monica F.(non-registered)
Gorgeous pictures, Jenny! The 8 year old also looks so grown up.
I am so glad you are enjoying your old stomping grounds. Hopefully you'll come back and visit FL again too :)
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