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Two Boys, One Stool // Storytellers Blog Circle

A couple months into being five, and my oldest son is really trying to up his jumping game. But there’s a lot more to it than just that. So, let me tell you the story behind this story.  //  Make sure to skip onto the next blog and check out Andrea, of Little Story Studio‘s beautiful work. You can click on her name or right here:

In a month, I’ll be teaching the first round of my Storytelling Workshop, “The Visual Narrative,” with The Bloom Forum. One of my goal is to make videos of how I shoot in documentary situations around my house. That’s right, I’m following myself around with another camera, and recording myself as I attempt to both parent and photograph. It’s actually pretty fun, other than the part where I watch myself back on camera. ha! Anyway, last week, my son was jumping on our red couch, like any other given day. He jumps on this couch for hours some days. I know that one day I’ll have to have the whole couch rebuilt, but today, I let him jump.

The light in my house was nice on this late morning. It’s been raining here. A lot. We don’t usually get rain, but for the last few weeks it’s felt nonstop. I love that soft gentle light we get in the house on days like these. So, inspired by the everyday jumping of my son, and motivated to film clips of my shooting, I pulled out the video camera, set it up, hit record.  My son jumps from one end of the couch, and back again, over, and over, and over. Since my couch sits pretty far into my house, in can it can be pretty dark without the direct light of the rising sun or golden hour. We have a huge eight foot slider that faces due South, that sits behind the couch, and lets in a lot of light, but between the late morning time, and the cloudy, rainy day, there was just not enough light to work with back lighting. I knew I would need to sit right at the end of the couch, with the slider on my right, to get a nice indirect side light from the window, to add interest to my photos.

If you look closely, you’ll notice the I missed the focus on my son’s feet, although thankfully, he was close enough to the plane of focus to be seemingly sharp. I don’t mind the missed focus at all, and perhaps even prefer it. The missed focus gives a nice softness to an otherwise busy photo. I sat on the ground at the end of the couch, and originally he was just standing on the edge of the couch just in front of me. If you spot meter, you also know that this will also focus the camera on the same point. And so, as I checked my settings, while spot metering while he stood on the edge of the couch, I grabbed focus on his feet. True to my son’s personality, out of nowhere, he decided to leap into the air for a forward flip. All I could do was start shooting, and magically came up with this capture of his flip mid-air. Thankfully, I was already in a good place, at the right time, with my shutter set to “continuous” (a must when shooting fast moving kids), and I was paying attention.  Most of the time I spend a bit waiting for the action that will be worth hitting my shutter button for, but in this case no waiting was necessary. And so, with a some healthy reflexes, a little bit of preparation, and a lot of luck, I was able to capture an image I am in love with.

If you’d like to learn more of my process for storytelling, and learn from many more images like this, as well as receive feedback on your own images, I’d love for you to join me in my WORKSHOP, beginning February 27th, with the Bloom Forum (



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