Aunt Chickee and the 6½th Cousin
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Melissa “Chickee” Friedl My sister in law, Mommy of Luke, Grace, and one in the oven -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Melissa “Chickee” Friedl
My sister in law, Mommy of Luke, Grace, and one in the oven

The theme of this summer's family get-together is “Grandma and Grandpa Friedl's grandchildren”, though I've tended to frame it from Anthony's point of reference with posts like “Conflagration of Cousins” and “More Cousins 'n Such”. Six of the grandchildren have been featured in posts during the last two weeks, but one remains, Grandchild #6½, due at the end of November. He or she will Anthony's sixth cousin, and will be Uncle Mikey and Aunt Chickee's #3, after four-year-old Grace and two-year-old Luke.

I wanted the as-yet-unnamed cousin to be represented in my posts, so I asked Chickee to pose for a cliché soft-focus “I'm pregnant and glowing” portrait. I've never really done a portrait beyond an impromptu “hey, stand over there and I'll take a family shot”, a quick snap at a wedding, or a bit of monkeying around, so I wasn't really sure what to do.

As I said, it's cliché, so wasn't too hard to get something with the right mood, and after a bit of negative clarity in Lightroom, and a touch of dark vignette, voilà...

“Pregnant and Glowing” -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Pregnant and Glowing”

I then thought to try a regular portrait, for the first time fussing with apparently minor things that are not minor at all, like how the hair fell, the posture of the hands, the tilt of the head, etc...

Portrait Due in about four months -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Portrait
Due in about four months

All of those shots came out looking contrived – I clearly have a lot to learn and experience to gain – but the first shot I took just to check framing, without any forethought or direction, came out great, and that's what you see above. I guess when it comes down to it, she looks so fantastic all a photographer need do is point and shoot.


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