When it comes to baby photography, my go-to mental reference is the one Annie Leibovitz took of her first daughter.
Sitting in a pram, with a neutral expression.
I knew if I ever have a baby, I’ll be attempting the same thing.
On Monday morning, I lugged around a Mamiya 645, found an alley across the park and aimed Hana’s head towards the skyline.
It took a while for her to not get excited, or pout, or smile.
Eventually, I got the expression I wanted and I finished the last few frames left in the roll of Portra 400.
And as I compare this photo with the ‘default’ shot I had in mind, I’m surprised by the differences.
For one, the subjects look different to start with. (Duh.)
The cameras are different too, but I don’t believe in blaming the tools.
I was still attending university when I first saw Annie’s photo, but it is obvious now that she shot with studio lighting and a much smaller aperture.
Her framing was landscape with the baby taking up half of the frame; mine was in portrait with a deliberate separation of blue and white back drop.
The only similarity I can find is the catch light in the eyes.
And that’s enough for me to call this an homage.