Photos of the Week


Photos of the Week June 17: Inspiring Portraits of Fathers

June 17, 2024

By Hillary Grigonis

What fatherhood looks like is often different from family to family. By getting to know the family dynamics first, photographers can capture portraits of fathers that showcase the unique way that a particular father interacts with his children. In honor of Father’s Day, this week we’ve selected four heartfelt images that capture the essence of fatherhood. Find inspiration in these portraits of fathers from Emmy Lou Virginia Canedo, Anna Bailey, Ally Stuart-Ross, Ella Börner, and Rebecca Loveridge.

Emmy Lou Virginia Canedo, Emmy Lou Virginia Photography

© Emmy Lou Virginia Photography

Photographer Emmy Lou Virginia Canedo of Emmy Lou Virginia Photography captured this shot of her husband and kids in the backyard because the moment evoked her own childhood memories. The photographer explained that one of her favorite summer memories of her childhood was playing tag and chasing the lawnmower around the yard. Watching her kids chase their father around the yard brought back her own childhood memories. She captured the shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Sigma 35mm f1.4 lens.

“My advice for those wanting to capture portraits of fathers would be to first make a mental note of those things that are unique and beautiful about fatherhood for the dad you’re capturing, so that you are aware when the moment happens that you’d like to capture,” Canedo says. “For me with this image, that moment was my kids chasing their dad with a lawnmower. I also think light is so important for setting the mood; in this image, I knew that when my husband mowed the lawn at sunset (as opposed to in the middle of the day), the light would have a glow that would emphasize the nostalgia of this moment, and I crouched lower to the ground to ensure that I captured some of those magical sun flares too.”

Anna Bailey, Anna Bailey Photography

© Amy Bailey Photography

To capture portraits of fathers, Anna Bailey of Anna Bailey Photography looks for the subtle, candid moments that often go unnoticed. She uses movement-based prompts to photograph dads naturally interacting with their children. This shot captures genuine emotion in a playful moment between dad and child. Bailey captured the shot with the Canon EOS R6 and a 70-200mm lens.

“My advice for capturing fatherhood is to focus on genuine interactions,” she says. “I often find dads are the most nervous before a family session, preferring to stand on the sidelines. Use playful prompts to create natural moments of connection and emotion. Look for the candid moments that show emotion and connection. Be patient and observe, allowing the natural dynamics to unfold.”

Ally Stuart-Ross, Mable and Moose

© Mabel and Moose

Inspired by the way this dad naturally held onto his baby girl, Ally Stuart-Ross of Mable and Moose captured the little girl snuggling in close to her dad. The dark tones of her hair match the father’s beard and tattoos, while the Mable and Moose style using lots of white help those details to really pop. She captured the shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and an 18-55mm kit lens. For lighting, she used a Bowens 200 strobe that’s nearly 20 years old as the key light and a Bowens 400 as a secondary light, both fired through a Lastolight Highlite, proof that knowing how to use lighting gear is more important than having the latest equipment.

“I would advise other photographers never to overlook a dad in favor of mum at a newborn session,” she says. “They have had a very different journey, and it’s almost like they are just getting to know their new baby where as mum has carried them for 9 months and can feel more connected. During a photo session, I sometimes see a dad visibly bonding with his baby.”

Ella Börner

© Ella Börner

Photographer Ella Börner (@dear_ella) says many of her favorite moments feel mundane at first, but then feel incredibly special when those moments are in the past and she’s able to look back at them. That connection inspired this photo of a father looking through a birthday gift book with his son, a simple moment that holds long-term memories. She captured the shot with the Sony a7 III and a 50mm lens.

“I think it’s important to get to know each family (member) a bit before even starting to take photos — so they feel like they know you and have an easier time showing their emotions,” she says. “Then just be a part of the activities of the day, be patient, observant and focus on the little moments.”

Rebecca Loveridge, Rebecca Loveridge Photography

© Rebecca Loveridge Photography

When this father scooped up his daughter and made her giggle uncontrollably, Rebecca Loveridge of Rebecca Loveridge Photography knew it was a powerful moment she had to capture. The image shows the bond between the two. Loveridge captured the moment in a studio with a neutral-themed setup, using the Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II USM lens, and a NEEWER 700W with a softbox.

“Capturing fatherhood images can be a meaningful and an emotive experience,” she says. “My advice would be to make your subjects feel at ease from the start to capture the most natural interactions. Engage with them, keep the session light and fun, and be patient to capture spontaneous moments.”

Dig into our Photos of the Day Archives for even more timeless photoseye-catching wedding photos and portraits. Submit your wedding, editorial, documentary and other interesting imagery (up to 5 images at a time) to: hillary.grigonis@emeraldx.com.

 

 

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