Angelina Georgiou talks about outdoors photography
Female: Okay, stop there Ely, stop there. Bring Cameron into you and see if you can look at each other. Hold hands and look at each other. Oh you are such a good model Cameron.
Female: Yes you are.
Sian: Tell me a bit about your history and background.
Female: I’ve been doing this for about 10 years, I don’t know where that’s gone, and before that I was a fashion designer and costume designer. So I worked freelance and I have my own business making wedding dresses. So I suppose I knew about the wedding dress field. But I had an accident, and damaged may neck, so I couldn’t stay for long periods of time, and my friend who, when I was getting better, my friend who was a wedding photographer, say oh, come out with me and tweak dresses and be my assistant. And he put a camera in my hand, and I chopped off lots of people’s heads off, but I thought actually this is fun. I like this, I’m getting out meeting people. So I kind of got into it really accidentally.
Sian: Yeah. And so, what made you then stick to doing photography outdoors?
Female: Originally it was cost. I live in a flat. I didn’t have much money, but I wanted to get into portraiture as well. So I decided, well, you know, the world is a stage, let’s use it. And people feel more comfortable in an environment that they know. It’s more of a special photograph to them if they always walk the dog in that particular park or, you know, their home has a nice garden. It becomes, they own the picture. It’s part of them, it’s not a big white background.
Sian: So what are the difficulties of you not having the security of studio and lighting?
Female: A good British weather.
Sian: Oh yes.
Female: I mean although you can make that quite funky, you know, put Wellington boots on and kids in jumpers, but its weather, the family or the couple want to play the game, that’s the only problem. And then of course you’ve got sunshine, like we had today, there’s a lot of bright sunshine and then kind of clouds and, there’s a lot to that. But, the pros basically it’s fantastic, you can go anywhere. And people are much more content and happy, and it’s not sort of, you know, bang, bang, bang, one person in one person out.
Female: You know. And it’s just more personal.
Sian: So what would you be looking to do today? We got two kids. One’s a lot younger than the other. One’s one year old, I think, so how will you do, deal with them.
Female: Well obviously we’re on a really great rural area, so walking, walking is great. Getting the old one lead the little one, that always looked really good from a distance. There’s a lot of trees so we can get a lot of peeping shot on to the trees, and sort of shade and stuff. So there’s quite a lot that we can do here.
Sian: Right then, so, what kind of kit will you be using today?
Female: Well, I use Canon, simply because I never got into Nikon, people would ask why Nikon, why Canon, that’s the way it is, I just started out like that.
Female: I got a 5D, Canon 5D, which I love, it’s really good. I love it. And it’s a really good weight. I got the battery pack on the bottom so it really just balances out nicely. And then the lens that I used most of all, generally when I know the children, they’re a little bit older, then you have to keep back from them too much, I used the 24-70, 2.8 lens. 2.8 lets in more light obviously, so that’s a really good basic set. I also used a long lens, especially if the kids are running and they’re kinda far away or you don’t know them very well and they’re a little bit shy. So you’re not so in their face. I used the long lens, this is the 70-200, again 2.8, so that you can really open up and get the light in, again Canon, but Sigma do lenses just as good, and not as quite as expensive.
Sian: Yeah. And I know you haven’t used it today but you’ve got a flash here as well.
Female: Yeah. I tend to use flash, I mean this ones, this one’s made for the Canon 5D, and it’s the 550EX, its’ a really good bit of kit. I tend not to put it on the camera if I know it’s a really good light, a really good day and I don’t need to mess around too much. If it’s a very bright day, obviously you don’t want the children to be looking into the light, because they’ll gonna squint and get fed up quickly. So what you do is you have the light behind them and then you have to fill their face with a little bit of flash just to light them up.
Sian: So otherwise, they’d be quite dark.
Female: They’d be in shadow, you get the whole silhouette feature, which can work sometimes, but obviously you want their eyes and their face to light up.
Sian: And then you finally got a reflector.
Female: Yeah, I used that occasionally. Sometimes if the parents are here, or someone else is here to hold it, coz you can't hold and take photographs. And again it’s just if you wanna bounce some light back into the child’s face. If they’re sitting down, probably not the younger ones, they much, when they’re sitting down and they’re leaning against something and you just want that really nice light white, sort of lift the face and you’re doing a close up, that works really well.
Sian: So what camera settings do you use then?
Female: I tend to use, well on Canon, it’s AV, but it’s aperture priority.
Female: And basically that’s opening the aperture and letting more light in, and what that does is it blurs the background and it brings the person, the object, the subject right out and blurs the background. So that becomes part, you know, they jump out and they can really stand out them.
Sian: And the ISO settings?
Female: ISO settings, I tend to change quite a lot because obviously being outside, you have to keep changing it.
Sian: Yeah, the light, sun.
Female: It’s one of those things that you’re always going to have to change, but, in general 400 is great with movement and running around and lots of kids running everywhere, and then just drop it accordingly if the light comes out. You know, just keep playing about with it.
Sian: And what about the white balance?
Female: White balance, my theory is, just keep it simple. Yes you can mess around if you want to, but just keep it simple, because the subject is moving a lot and they’re gonna get bored quickly. So I keep it on automatic white balance. I mean I can do that because it’s digital, you tend, you know, most people tend to do something in photoshop or in some kind of program afterwards. So you can play around a bit more.
Sian: Absolutely, so that’s great, what kind of top tip do you have for say amateur, professional photographers doing this type of work?
Female: Patience for children. The young ones get bored really, really easily and very quickly. You got to time slot, I try and meet. If I don’t know them, if I haven’t met them before, I don’t go straight in. I like to sit and chat to the children, chat to the parents, so they feel a bit more comfortable around me and then get the camera equipment out and then you pretty much got about an hour slot before they kinda go down the other side and get bored and winjy and don’t want to do it anymore, so.
Sian: And, that’s great for like professionals, but say mom and dad at home. Any tips for them?
Female: Well mom and dad, obviously know their children much better. So they probably don’t have to direct quite as much as I do. And do a little bit, maybe try a little bit more reportargy, you know, sort of get them out in the garden playing around and playing with the toys that they’ve got a subject that they concentrating on. Step back, and just watch, coz you know your child more. You know, you gonna know that smile that they do when they’re fed up or when they’re happy. You’re going to know them more.
Sian: Okay, so, on a more serious note, taking photos of children in public. What are the issues of that?
Female: It’s something we have to be a bit careful about now. And I would say take it easy, especially around public areas, basically.
Female: Where there’s a lot of children and lot of parents, coz people are getting very twitchy now, playground, beaches, etc. Something we really need to educate the public on, you know, if you’re a professional, you’re not going to damage your reputation, it’s just not worth it. There are checks that you can do.
Female: CRB checks.
Sian: Okay, and what was that?
Female: That’s from the Criminal Records Bureau.
Female: And what that is, they just basically do the background check on you, and you get a certificate.
Sian: So that’s like approved, you know, I’m okay, I’m not dodgy.
Female: Yeah, people who work in nurseries, very, very often have them and a lot of corporate organizations ask for you to show your CRB check, so. You know, people are checked out there, so don’t worry.
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