The mind screamed at the time on the watch. I was already running late, and I had about an hour-long morning commute ahead of me.
But the heart said stop and look at the light.
The late July sun had not yet fully bloomed, which meant soft light our bedroom. And there in the middle of our bed lay the newborn, Finn.
Get the shot, the heart said. Use your camera for just for a few minutes. It’ll be worth leaving a little late.
And that’s when this organic moment unfolded. Our middle child, Liam, came in bleary eyed from having just woken up, jumped up on the bed, and cozied up to his new brother.
Now, I faced a choice. Typically, I like to fill the frame with my subject, which is why the first few photos I took of Finn look like this:
But the scene before me and my camera begged for something different. The soft light coming in through the bedroom windows not only looked beautiful on our children’s faces but it also created shadows on the bed sheet, providing texture.
I switched from using my EF 24-70mm lens at 70 to a wide angle. I had to position the camera carefully above the boys, point it down in a way that I could not use the viewfinder or the back screen to line the shot up, and pressed the shutter.
I came away with a shot to keep for a lifetime.
Sometimes, it’s worth breaking out of your comfort zone, to use a different creative device. Normally, I would take a scene like this and try to focus on Finn’s face from behind Liam.
Next time you’re thinking telephoto, give a wide angle a try and see what happens.
Dave Pidgeon is a photographer and writer from Lancaster, Pa. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org