A few months ago. I noticed. A change.
Through the lens, there's a change.
I love to shoot iza, since her first day, wish to capture a non-interrupted her. Therefore, I rarely ask her to stay still and face the camera, or to pose for me. I just take whatever in front of me. She just behaves as she is, with or without the camera. She's so used to this. But, I know I consciously walk her to some destinations where are nice backgrounds for pictures. And, I love pure grounds.
Before this set. Change already occurred.
This set. Caught me.

About 2 months ago.
That night. Iza's granny curled her hair. Only slight curls. To see the curls clearly, I convinced her to go to a brighter environment, a fluorescent lit white mosaicked staircase, so I could do the record. A mere record. To me, in this setting, I could only have slim imagination. It could hardly evoke my emotions but not hers. She, so well absorbed into the environment, set herself into mood and performed (not posed) in front of the lens.
These. So alluring.
She's not art directed by me, but herself.

Constantly, I find. In different outfits, she does envision with different "presentations".

An autonomous interpretation of this cape.

Change occurs gradually. But still very HER.

Response to Fei An's question on the secret to shoot, I do not have any technical advices. But some personal preferences.
I'm not using professional camera, which actually will yield a much better result, instead I use a fully automated handy one - Ricoh GX200. We do have a Canon EOS. But I'm not fast enough in using it. To capture children, especially very young ones, I shoot like firing a gun, swift and determinative. Drive by instinct. Think too much, the child will dash away. And, a large camera will be too much for my back pack stuffed with books, files, note book ... I use the EOS only when papa helps to carry it :)
Use any anything that is fast enough to capture children. Let instinct be your lead.
To capture
I love snap shots, instead of freezing smiles in front of camera. I adore people concentrating at doing their own things, instead of staring at the lens. I fancy people in motion. I'm obsessed with blur images. I enjoy capturing instant moments. I love spontaneity.
No need to freeze your child. No need to ask him/ her to look into the camera. No need to stay still.
I aware the danger of becoming ambitious in capturing all in a single shot, a perfect record of the whole environment and the figure(s). Sometimes focus will be diverted. In fact, I indulge in looking into parts than whole. I love to look into the void instead of the figure, no matter the figure is a person, an object or a landscape. Just like reading a Chinese painting, I'm allured by the volume of void.
Look into the void for composing.
Different areas on the Earth do have their particular light quality, thus, in taking pictures, we (from different geographical locations) do attain quite a different color rendering and contrast. I do have difficulty in managing the high contrast under the harsh sunlight in Hong Kong. I blind by it. I can only see black and white in the Summer noon. I avoid taking pictures at noon as I avoid flash lights. I love morning light which is more blue. I love overcast, colors are more solid under the diffuse light. I love the steep angle of light during sunset and its rich color rendering. Even in the mist, I love the flatness. Shadow is ever the most interesting component in photography and painting. I love colors of shadows. They are not just black. In the evening, we will have a purple blue shadow. Light and shadow creates emotional response. It's visual storytelling.
Read shades and colors of shadows. Appreciate the absence of light.

I love so much the photography of Petits Bonheurs. It has documented many magical moments through the eyes of a mother on her children. The images are cinematographic, which evoked my imagination outside the frames. I'm unwilling to accept that this beautiful journal is coming to a stop. I would miss her prescription on capturing children in photography.


Jeanne-ming said...

yes Alliot,
Your baby girl is growing up. I can see it too.

Mandy said...

Your blog is just beautiful, keep up the great work

Fei An said...

Oh, Alliot, I wish I were an American and say "I love you" without any embrassment right now:P, thanks so much for this post...you are the star, guilding my way!!! Sometimes I wonder why I am so lucky to meet so "perfect" lady like you? I must be so blessed!
By the way, can I post the set of mist pictures of Iza and your photoshooting tips on my chinese blog. I have few blogfriends there who like to take pictures of children,and I really want to share with them. Blogspot is blocked in China so they can not open any link from blogspot. Thanks again, I really appreciate your kindness.

Karumen said...

thanks for the tips! i also have hardtimes shooting in hk...sometimes i blame it on my own energy level which is usually higher when i travel elsewhere (probably only because i feel like i'm on vacation more than anything!)

and i love iza in cape collection the most :)

Evelyne said...

When I saw and read your blog for the first time, last year, I read and read one day, two days, three days...my heart is touched by yours words so thruth. I would like to write manythinks but my english are so bad...and one day I try with my poor englis and since a beautiful friendly is become.
Thank you Alliot. For me you're like Claude de Petit Bonheur, generous, very generous.

Anonymous said...

aliott, this is so kind... you're a big, huge inspiration source to me too...
i'll write you longer per mail (as soon as my son gives me 5 free minutes!!)

Yanyan said...

Those are so honest and kind words, together with always beautiful Iza's images. Will try those tips when I try to photo Landon, he is a bit camera shy, just like his dad...

kenza said...

oh Alliot! This is so nice of you to post this. Not only to you give us a guide but more so you tell us about your emotions, your impressions through the colors (blue of mornings), moods (the void of the Chinese paintings), and feelings (Iza changing) that move you and make your heart beat and your camera click. Thank you!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

You're absolutely right. There is a clear change in her. She has always been very beautiful, but she is moreso. She is coming into her own, and you can see a new confidence and self-possession.

As for your technique, you have a natural eye. It is very much your own, and it has little to do with technicalities, I think. This is your creative style, and it is specific to you. There is practice, but there is also the personal creative eye, and yours is very special and unique.

alliot said...

Fei An, yes, you are more than welcome to post the pictures and my silly words ...
Thanks so much for accepting my imperfections so you find me acceptable :)

alliot said...

Evelyne, I feel so shy to write a lot because I'm lack of words. Your English is not poor because you write with a beautiful heart.
Your writings on child education really inspire me. The more I relate to my daily life, the more I want to share your words in context of our situations in HK ... the more anxious I become. Because I feel powerless with writing.
Obviously, I'm courageous with visuals than verbal :)

alliot said...

Claude, would you please send my kisses to your little boy :)
Maia, Yes. She is coming into her own, with a new confidence and self-possession.

nath said...

I will miss the beautiful inspiration of PB as well...
I get so much pleasure & ideas just visiting blogs such as hers and yours, it just encourages the creativity. Keep the good work!

Yoli said...

She is changing, as Maia said she is becoming even more beautiful and your technique is natural. Some people with more experience cannot create what you create here.