Stay at Home Dad
The 'Weekend' section of the Times asked me to photograph Michael Odell and his three children. Michael is a journo for 'Q magazine' but had written a piece for The Times on life as a stay at home dad. The brief was specific, they were after an engaging, fun, lead image that made Michael look like a "Yummy Daddy".....
Michael was not keen on being caked in chocolate sauce or adopting sexy male poses (are there any?). Instead we settled on photographing him having fun with his three children. Scientists have proved that women's wombs gurgle when they encounter this type of male.
The shot in the bedroom above is reasonably straightforward in terms of content but works especially well because of the colour co-ordination, which I can assure you was almost deliberate. Before we started shooting I had chosen Michael's clothes to match the three children who were already wearing blueish hues. As a rule of thumb with family/group shots it works well to get everybody wearing clothes that match colours and then find a complimentary background. I had spent the first 3/4's of my time with the Odells shooting against a yellow and pastel green background which wasn't really working (see right), I had no real "keepers" and was getting a little nervous. I explained my bed idea to Michael which he liked and once he had shown me his bedroom with the blue walls and pink duvet I immediately knew that was the best set-up
The bedroom photograph is very simply lit with two flashes and a reflector. One flash above camera on axis diffused through an octobox for the subjects, another flash bounced into the ceiling above the subjects camera left and high to light the room. The reflector was placed on the floor in front of the subjects to bounce the light up and fill in shadows. I exposed 2 stops above the outdoor ambient so that the windows in the background were bright and then worked the two speedlites in.