So this is one of the ways I learn...this week - "Celebrating Teens"

Everyone (at least most of the opinions on Flickr) says that "the more you shoot, the more you learn" and they say things like "challenge yourself, "try new things,  typical motivational speaker speak.  I've been jumping around the internet discovering photographers websites, blogs, competitions, seminars, youtube videos and have been so totally overwhelmed that I can't remember what it was I was trying to accomplish. 

I knew I had to start somewhere and so I found a blog that seemed pretty supportive and encouraging of everyone's efforts from newbie amateur to professional.  They have challenges every week that were the type of things I wanted to improve on, mostly taking pictures of people.  I've only just started with a couple of entries so far.  I love having a theme to work on so I only have to focus on what I want to learn from the challenge.  Here's the link to the blog (they make it easy with the html for the cute icon)...

This week's challenge is all about the teenager and it just so happens I know some!  Lucky for me, I no longer have any, my youngest recently turned 21.  By the way, has anyone else noticed that having teenagers is often accompanied by perimenopause and aging parents who sometimes act like the teenagers, worse yet they join up and "get all up in yer' grill".  My 77 year old mother has actually used phrases like this along with my kids(with a heavy spanish accent no less)BUT I digress...don't get me started.

I decided that I would use this challenge to use fill flash on African American skin.  The girl I am featuring is 14 and a little self conscious about being the darkest in her family and disappearing into darkness in photographs.  Her skin color is so beautiful and perfectly even, she glows in natural light when she smiles and I wanted to capture that.  I decided to pose her on my shaded patio with the sunlight reflecting off the fence walls as ambient light to one side of her as well as using fill flash on the other.  The spot was perfect for her, another spot I used on her sister prove to have to much light drop off and there was too much contrast darkening one side of her face too much even for fill flash.  I used a super fast and easy solution...an inexpensive flash diffuser that fits around the lens and will diffuse the on camera flash (either built in or on the hotshoe). It diffused the flash set to 1/4 power and softly lit the side of her face opposite the ambient light.  It is inexpensive and one of the first accessories I bought for my camera that I keep in my purse along with my camera.

So this is my entry for this weeks Iheartfaces challenge, you can see the other entries which are equally as inspiring as the challenge itself here at: iheartfaces.blogspot.com/week 25 - celebrating teens
Read about the teenage judge, it a beautiful thing that talented teens are being encouraged to follow their bliss and be supported.  It is because of my youngest daughter Samantha that I have rekindled my love for photography as an old mama dog and it's been great fun to share it with my pup.  Can't wait til I post about her photography, she is soooo amazing!

Below you will see a few thumbnails including the diffuser as well as some other shots of her younger 12 year old sister.  They are the same age difference as my sister and I, it's funny how that relationship is loving, spiteful, fun, crazy, supportive, divisive and soooo important to treasure for life!

Inspired!... Virginia


  1. Glad you found a way to photograph this beautiful girl that shows her color and features so perfectly. She has a wonderful shy quality to her smile....

  2. such a beautiful picture - like her smile

  3. Oh I love this photo! She is just gorgeous!