Friday, April 9, 2010

Mother's Day Photo Project

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Mother's Day is just a few short weeks away. Time to start planning!

Most of you know that every year I like to come up with a special project for the kids to make for their moms. I'm a mom and I love getting cool hand made gifts from my kiddos, but most of the time it's me who comes up with the gift ideas. I can't take credit for this one, however, because I happened upon it the other week while reading the archives of Carey Schumacher -- one of my favorite photographers along the west coast. It just oozes coolness to me and it's so super easy anyone can do it.

You'll need to take a little control of your camera so put it in AV or manual mode. You want your aperture pretty wide open to get sufficient blurring of the child's face. Set your F-stop to as low a number as possible -- these are at F2.8, but if your lens doesn't go down that low, that's okay. You can still get some decent background blur if you stand far away and zoom in on your kiddo's fist. Have your child stand with their fist up at you as if they're handing you a flower. I had to trick some of the little ones by offering a toy and snapping when they reached up to grab it. One little one simply refused to reach up at me so I loosely tied a piece of yarn around her wrist -- much like you would a balloon string -- and pulled her little fist up. She thought it was funny as could be and her expression was priceless. I then had to go into Photoshop and erase that string but it was pretty easy to do. Focus on the child's fist but get their face out of focus in the background. Snap the photo and there you are. I went into Photoshop and added the words "Happy Mother's Day 2010" on mine, but that's not necessary if you don't have the means to add text to your photo. Or you can always add that after the fact with stickers or paints.

I then had the kids paint a 5X7 frame or a mat. The little ones just made fingerprints or hand prints around the edge.

Next, after having the photos printed up, I used a razor to slash a little slice right above the fist and another right below the fist -- obviously this is a job for you and not the kiddos. Then I got a silk flower and stuck it through the holes. The stem pushes the fist up just a bit under the photo adding to that 3-dimensional effect. The sharper the focus on the fist, the better the results will be. I also used metallic paper because it seems to give the photo even more of a 3-D look.

Okay, now you have a project and a few weeks to work on it. Get going! And if you need some help with that photo, drop me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do!

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