Lighting Lightning McQueen


I thought it would be fun to try and make some posts about children photography… as in … involving children in photography.  So let’s see how it goes 🙂

A few days ago my son was playing with his Lightning McQueen model car and I was playing with my camera… son comes over and asked me to take a photo of the car.  Sure… let’s do it together!  He was very excited (he’s two and a half, it doesn’t take much LOL).

So I gathered a few supplies:

  • A Sheet of 600 grit sandpaper (the black use-wet kind) to serve as the asphalt
  • a plastic dinosaur (to serve as the reflector stand)
  • a sheet of paper towel (the reflector)
  • my LED head light to serve as the main light

We set Lightning McQueen on the sandpaper in a position that work in terms of framing the shot, set up the dinosaur and the reflector off to camera right-back, and I placed the LED headlight on my son’s head and asked him to direct the light at the scene.  Here is the setup shot just before moving the reflector in much closer to the car (it was having zero effect where you see it in the shot)


and here is my son having fun with the LED light.


At any rate… if you want to take a photo of one of your children’s little cars the first tip here is to use the black wet-use sandpaper as faux asphalt.  It works even better than real asphalt because the texture in asphalt would look too coarse next to the little cars, making it painfully obvious that it’s a model car.  The second tip is that yeah maybe I could have gotten the lighting more techincally correct if I positioned the light myself… but how do you beat having your 2.5 year old act as a VALS (Voice Activated Light Stick)?

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