Children’s Character Portraits

Children’s Character Portraits are by far my favorite portraits to create.  I was commissioned by these boys mother a few weeks ago to create something special to document their families love of the game of baseball (and the baseball version of these character portraits are what I love to do most). 

Mom loved the fact that these portraits are art pieces rather than just pictures that most anyone could take.  When we had our initial consultation I told her that my goal was to create something that 30 years from now when these boys are grown men coaching their own kids, she and her husband can look back and remember that it was about the love of the game and the little boys who play it, rather than about the latest equipment sports trend.

I try to build a story within each picture that can stand on it’s own but also be part of the larger story of the all of the pictures in the collection.  The case that there were three brothers made for the story of the pitcher, catcher and batter!  I can only imagine the impromptu games that may happen outside of the little league diamonds.

The choice of medium to create these portraits again is 4×5 black and white sheet film, the 4×5 Sinar Camera with a 300mm lens.  I chose this combination of equipment for the rich tonality that sheet film provides and filling the frame with the subject that the 300mm lens provides.  I also think that this combination adds to part of the authenticity of the pictures I’m making as 4×5 sheet film was a standard material for portrait photographers in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s time period that I’m trying to portray in these pictures.

This particular session I took some feedback I’ve received in print competition critiques and added some fake “sweat” to their faces to add an additional element of authenticity to these pictures without having to bear with the smell of real sweat! 🙂  I had a fantastic time photographing these boys and look forward to even more kiddo’s coming in during the summer months.  I also do basketball, football, and soon Hockey portraits as well!

As a final frame to the session mom even wanted to get dirtied up and get a picture of her with her boys!  Which made for a great way to end a great session! – Cheers!

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