My Assignment Win

Wow - what a thrill it was for me to find out I'd won the latest assignment "Play". Ive been watching the assignments from a distance since I joined Dreamstime in August 2008 and either wasn't eligible to enter or felt I couldn't come up with appropriate images.......but I was looking forward to the day I could enter confidently.

"Play" was this first assignment - the theme bought up ideas of fun and lightness for me and I felt I could submit a few images. Possibly this stems from being a first time mum and having an 11 month old daughter around the house doing all sorts of funny things that demand the attention of my camera. This following picture comes from a classic moment in the kitchen when she finds her reflection in the oven door and goes to kiss it - a shot for me that depicted a lot of love, exploration and fascination.

Photography for me is a hobby that I am learning more and more about - I love capturing shots of babies and children (most likely because of my new role as a mother) and my friends do give me lots of praise for many of the pictures I take. Having said that I do feel I have a long way to go in terms of developing my knowledge and technical understanding. I have a canon 30D and by no means feel I use it to its advantage.

One project encouraged me to buy some black material for a back drop, experiment with exposure settings on my camera and really take time to compose some nice shots (got a lot of ideas from the internet). These pics were taken for a friend and her 4 month old baby. I was upset at the end of the shoot - i had a lot of lovely shots but i had the white balance set wrong and my pictures ended up having a pinkish tinge. The things we learn...... thats what I love - I am always learning something from my errors. Here is one of the shots (without the black background) from this experience (thanks to photoshop I could correct the lighting a bit and skin tones)

Another from this shoot that wasn't in the assignment but that I love the feel of is this:

. I wish I could take more pics like this with more intention versus chance behind it. Any tips for this?

Finally the winning shot:

.... this was a lesson in "taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE" even if you don't think you will be taking photos! I hadn't planned this shoot - this was taken after an impromtu bbq at a friends place one afternoon. They have two gorgeous boys who were playing with a hose and beach bats on their garden trampoline. I loved the setting and was motivated to pull my camera out. There were no great settings on my camera - it was set to action mode to capture crisp images..... I loved the way the light caught the drops of water and was happy with the outcome. These pics may never have made it on to the site funnily enough as it was a bit of a process getting the parents to sign the model release (emails lost and fax numbers mixed up!). We finally got there. The funny thing was that last night when i found out I'd won, we'd already invited the parents for dinner - it was a moment of synchronicity and I just smiled at that! Life is full of wonderful surprises and times where things just feel right.

Here were some more shots from that afternoon of spontaneity


Thanks everyone - thanks for your votes and thank you for helping keep my hobby alive with all the inspiration I get from being a part of dreamstime!

Photo credits: Sarah Van Der Heijden.

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Congratulations. That image is really wonderful. Even looking at it and the water drops makes me feel refreshed in the harsh Indian summer :)


Looking at the children playing in your images gives out a feeling of pure fun and joy !
Great job.


Congratulation Sarah. Job well done! I am happy for you as I did vote for the winning photo... haha..


Congratulations on your win! Great shot!


very lovely!very good! Childen is my favorate.


Congrats! Great assignment images!


Congrats, I had mentioned this image in my previous blog encouraging people to vote for assignment. You deserved this win, superb image




Congratulations!! very nice photo


Congratulations, well deserved.


Nice capture. Congrats!

Just finished my holiday in SA, wonderful country.


Congratulation with your winning photo. Very nice. so as all your photo's.
Ed Francissen

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