Readers of JBRish know that I enjoy photography. I enjoy looking at the work of gifted photographers almost as much as I like creating pictures on my own. I really must confess, however, that I don’t take many photographs of people; at least not portraits. Yes, there are some candids and some street photography-type shots where people fit into the overall scene, but definitely not portraits or pictures of people where they are posed as the main subject.
I have shied away from this because it is very difficult. People have features, appendages, etc. that need to be in the right place and generally in the right proportion. My favorite subject is landscapes and one reason for this is that they are forgiving. Everyone looking at my photograph knows how a tree is supposed to appear, but they don’t know how that specific tree appears and thus if it is not exactly right, it is doubtful that they will notice.
With portraits, however, many people are going to know and recognize the subject. Not only that, the person in the portrait and their loved ones are going to want that moment in time to represent them at their best. How many times have you looked in the mirror and said to yourself: “I am not looking my best today”? A portrait should show people at their very best and therein lies the ultimate challenge of portrait photography.
That is why the photographer I am going to write about today has impressed me so much. Her work is nothing less than brilliant. After seeing some of her portraits and family groups, I think you will arrive at the same conclusion.
On the heels of Father’s Day in the United States, let’s enjoy the picture above of a dad and his daughter. The subdued lighting is perfect for this outdoor location. Even though the father is not facing forward, he is rendered quite handsomely and that look of joy or happiness on the face of the child is genuine. What may go unnoticed in this picture is the coordination of colors, i.e. the girl’s yellow dress and shoes which tie in nicely with dad’s brown jacket and the overall tone of the scene; just perfect!
Many portraits have their subjects facing the camera and concern themselves with technicalities such as catch lights. This picture is about the bond between a mother and her daughter. The kiss is so natural and even though the young girl is looking up and away, there is a definite connection and feeling of family. Erin Hoskins creates more than a picture, she captures emotion and feeling which is conveyed in these images. Windswept hair and subtle tones in dress and landscape lend an ethereal feeling to this scene and should bring a sense of intimacy and delight to the viewer. Note too the subtle balance brought to the photograph by the outstretched right foot.
What intrigued me the most about the work of Erin Elizabeth Photography is the level of creativity. Admire as I did, the colors, tones and ingenious composition of the two photographs below. They are nothing short of superb.
Let’s round out the family portraits with one of mom, dad and son. Once again, color plays a key role in focusing the viewer on the main subject, the young boy. Both mom and dad are looking at him which brings the viewer’s eye to the center of the picture naturally. The abstract yellow glow adds a beautiful warm tone to the overall scene. Expressions of joy and happiness that look natural are not easy to capture, but are presented very well in this photograph.
Individual portraits are also beautifully crafted. Look at this young girl on the beach. Could the setting and lighting be any more perfect? The look is so genuine; not a smile exactly, but a serene look. For anyone who has ever tried to balance natural light with fill light to eliminate harsh shadows, this scene is nothing short of wonderful!
As if all this weren’t enough to present this photographer as a creative artist, we haven’t even touched on what many would consider some of her best work and that is babies. I first learned of Erin Hoskins via a story from PetaPixel This Newborn Photo Shoot Features Quintuplets. So how does a gifted photographer find her artistic way of capturing the unique and intimate relationship of mother and children as well as the children with each other?
Here the story begins prior to the birth; talk about telling the whole story!
Naturally the original is much larger, but isn’t this a unique way of displaying a group picture?
What contributes to making this picture even more outstanding is the one baby with open eyes. Having patience and waiting for the precise moment is often the difference between a portrait and a work of artistry.
Being Surprised by Five certainly will bring a smile to many of us and we will think it is charming, but understand that this is a life-changing event for the family in many ways. You can visit the Surprised by Five facebook page to learn more.
It is so captivating for me to look at the work of Erin Hoskins through these portraits. I want to leave you with one last picture that is so intimate and beautiful even though it is rendered in black and white.
If you enjoy these works of artistic portraiture, I encourage you to visit the Erin Elizabeth Photography websites (links below) to see additional beautiful photographs.
Many thanks to Erin for allowing me to share her work with JBRish readers. Viewing her work has been a joy!
All photographs are used with permission of the photographer and studio. They are Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved. The photos represented in this post were either from screen shots or downloads available from the photographer’s websites and do not necessarily represent the finest details, coloring, etc. Any names of files are strictly those of the author and are used to expedite posting.
There is no relationship between Erin Hoskins, Erin Elizabeth Photography and the author. Jeff is an amateur photography enthusiast who has found this work inspiring. All opinions are that of JBRish.com.
Erin Elizabeth Photography
Blog and Galleries – http://erinelizabeth.com.au/blog/
See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE