Text and Photos by GIlmar Smith
Most of the time, when I mention a Platypod, people think that this little magical tool designed only to shoot landscapes. I usually get some of these two phrases. Why do you shoot portraits with a Platypod? Or, I am a portrait shooter; I don't see why I would need a Platypod.
I have shot many wonderful portraits using my Platypod. It's a tool that I always have up my sleeve when I want to step out of my "safe zone," which is usually shooting at eye or waist height.
Have you ever been in a shoot where you have everything you envisioned? A model, a makeup and hair artist, a wonderful wardrobe, but the images you see in the back of your camera aren't really speaking to you? So, what do you do? I move around and find different angles and perspectives until I get "the shot." I always make sure to try as many things as possible to get lots of content without having a memory card full of just two different angles. You need to get a good variety of shots.
In every shoot I do, at some point, I take my Platypod out and put my camera in all kinds of unusual angles.
In this case, it was obvious that I had to shoot this at a low angle. Cars always look fantastic when shot at a low angle, and of course, I knew that with my daughter in it, it was going to be a fabulous shot.
So, I placed my camera on the Platypod Max, made sure my lines were straight, and everything was in the frame; then I proceeded to play with my daughter while shooting a few pictures with my remote.
Having the camera on the Platypod allowed me to enjoy the moment and focus on getting the expression I wanted from my daughter without compromising my frame. If you photograph kids or are looking into getting into child portraiture, the best advice I can give you is, shoot fast, do not risk missing or messing up a shot! After 5 or 10 minutes of shooting, forget about getting good expressions from them. They are going to want to be out of there. So, choose the right tools, plan your approach in advance, and think fast! Oh, and don't forget to make it fun. No pressure, right?