What I’m Actually Doing When I Say “Hold That While I Change Cameras”

When I shoot weddings, I’m always working with at least two cameras at any given moment, one with a 24-70, the other with a 70-200. I know this is typical, and there’s good reason. The above shot was taken during a family portrait of about fifteen people, all of whom were significantly taller than this little girl. Ok, actually her younger sister was there, too, but she was being held, so she was like 6’4″ even though she was only two. Anyway.

I was shooting the group with a wider lens so that I didn’t have to be eighty feet away, and this girl kept flapping her head side to side, playing with her hands, and generally just being charming in a way that was in peril of being lost in the group composition. So I quickly threw the wide lens in the grass, grabbed the telephoto, and singled her out while everyone thought I was shooting the whole group.

Kids are so aware of the lens; it is difficult to catch them in an unguarded moment, but I think that, having fifteen people around, and not just being subject to one click and flash, they are more likely to let their guard down and be themselves. I’m not sure how aware she was of where the focus of my attention and my lens were, but I certainly know that she knew how to attract it.



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