• Adobe Lightroom CC
  • My home
  • united kingdom
  • Toddler
  • soft
  • Single Shot
  • Single Focus Point
  • Sigma Art 35mm
  • Serious
  • Self Portrait
  • Posed
  • Overcast
  • none
  • Natural Light
  • Natural
  • Moody
  • Autofocus
  • midday
  • Intimate Framing
  • Intangible Presets- The Originals 01
  • Indoors
  • Home
  • Directional
  • Dark
  • cuddling
  • Close up
  • Carpet
  • Canon 5d miii
  • calm
  • broken rules
  • Blanket
  • Window Lighting

The story behind the image

This was a self portrait taken during Lockdown 2021. I was spending so much time with my children and realising how fleeting and special it was, counting down until they were back in childcare. My son has always been particularly connected to me, we are very similar both in looks and personalities and it suddenly hit me that he wasn’t a baby anymore. This shoot was a realisation of him becoming that strange in-between age- not quite baby, not quite child. I always had it in my head to take a skin to skin photo with him as a baby but never had the time, so this was me making the time before it was too late.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I prompted him to listen out for the camera, to count the beeps and to give me a big cuddle like we usually do.

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What did you say?

“Wait for the beeps… Can you tell me when you hear the click sound?”

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Tone of Directions



I knew that I wanted a close crop, I wanted to show skin texture and to keep it vaguely anonymous so that other mothers could easily visualise themselves in this image. I usually am drawn to rule of thirds but for this wanted a close, intimate pull into the image so opted to break the rule with an eye-catching awkward crop of my son’s eyes so that you eyes are not drawn to those first, but instead to my arm wrapped around him in the centre.

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Compositional Rules

Broken Rules


Center FramedClose UpIntimate Framing


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I shot with a higher than normal aperture, focused on him whilst he was the right height/distance from the lens and then got into position. Usually (with this camera) it takes a bit of trial and error to nail the focus but this time it came together very easily.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

His face.

Equipment &

Canon 5d miii
Sigma Art 35mm

Tripod and timer.

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1/250 @ f/3.5 ISO800 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

It was an overcast day which gave a beautiful, soft light through the window. It was an East facing window which meant that at midday it was bright but not too harsh. There was a wall/slanted ceiling painted white about 4 ft from where we were sat which added fill light and acted as a large reflector.

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Light Type

Natural LightWindow Lighting

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I applied the preset, adjusted the white balance (to auto then added yellows), reduced the cyans down to make sure that the sheets were matching the skin tones. I increased the highlights and the midtones to make them stand out and add a but of an exaggeration to the light hitting the skin, and calibrated the blues to correct the skin tones by eye. I also corrected the blemishes on the skin using the spot corrector.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC


Working with my own child, this is the one who isn’t a fan of having his photo taken!

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I turned it into a game. I always need them to enjoy the experience otherwise they will never let me take their photos! Luckily he is very cuddly, loves a game and loves to be tickled which made it easy to navigate.

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Location Name

The Cotswolds

Location aDDRESS

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom

Loation Type

Private Home


United Kingdom

Know the light in your own house- understand the difference between light that enhances your subjects and light that spotlights your subjects, as well as how to control natural light.

When family moments are naturally unfolding, it is so important to be able to quickly grab that moment without fussing around too much- keep the camera charged with a battery and SD card in and ready to go.

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