Unexpected snapshot success


I’m surprised by this image.  Everyone who sees it (and that’s quite a few because my husband took it into work) comments that it’s “sooooo cute!”  I don’t personally think it’s a good shot for multiple reasons.

  • First, Corbin’s eyes are practically shut.  That’s never a good thing, especially when trying to take pictures of a kid.


  • Second, it’s shot at an odd angle.  (you try shooting in the snow and see how difficult it is!)  I really needed a ladder to get a better angle, and since the snow was melting and we had places to be, this was the best I could do.


  • Third, sure, he’s smiling, but what is he smiling at?  I can tell you his daddy was making him laugh, but you certainly don’t know that just looking at the image.


  • Fourth, I hate shooting in the sun.  It blows out the highlights and amps the contrast way up unless you use a fill-in flash on your subject.  Which I didn’t, since I don’t have an off camera flash or even one that can bounce light when you angle it.  That’s on the list of things to get, but somehow lenses are more enticing, since I don’t usually need a flash in most situations.

Still, when all is said and done, it’s a really cute snapshot that’s easy to understand – Corbin “made” a snow angel (he had assistance, of course) in his first snow.  And he’s happy about it.  Cute!  And I have to say, one thing did work out very well: shooting snow in angled sunlight makes it look much more textured.  Something to remember for future shots, although the sun makes very rare appearances here during the snowy season.


7 thoughts on “Unexpected snapshot success

  1. Huh … interesting your reasons for not liking it. I love that his eyes are closed and that he’s smiling for no reason–makes it more whimsical … carefree, childlike. But if you don’t like it than you don’t! I think it’s adorable.

    • It’s not that I don’t like it – I just thought I didn’t do such a great job with it. It’s a good thing someone (my husband) pointed out that it’s cute – otherwise it would probably made it into the edit bin!

  2. Thing is that, as you are a photographer, you look at a picture differently. Regular folks just look at the picture and react to it, is it a kid? it´s cute, nothing else matters.

    I had this coworker, he used to do social photography. He always said that nobody expected a good picture photographically speaking. If he wanted to be creative and crop a portrait, people would say “it´s a pity that uncle xx lost his ear in this picture” or things like this. They just wanted to see uncle xx together with their other relatives, they didn´t care if a bottle was in the middle of their faces or if the light was not good or if the texture passed unnoticed.

    I guess we don´t have to be perfectionists when it comes to snapshots that show a moment of our lives. Of course we want to make them better and beautiful because we love photography but that picture is as beautiful as the eyes who see beauty in it.

    • Very true this – non-photographers have totally different criteria than we do sometimes. I’ve learned to put a ton of images on Corbin’s website because family doesn’t just want to see the keepers, they want to see the kiddo in action. Even if the shot is a little blurry or at a weird angle to me, anyways.

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