This is a photographer's journal
Half of this picture interests me, half does not. Literally. Split this horizontal rectangle into two vertical rectangles and well Dmitri, guess which side aesthetically and otherwise interests me more.
I like that the baby is aware of the photographer and is enjoying the attention and that the friend seems to be enjoying the baby's reaction to what's going on. Funny John, I like the horizontal split as the jean covered legs and one visible flip-flopped foot were the second thing in the photo that caught my attention after the baby.
I think the photo works as a whole. The left side with its Rubenesque mother complete with cherub and the right side with the angular friend and background knees providing contrast. What ties it all together? The eyes of the friend looking at the baby and the baby looking at us.What the photo doesn't show was all the typical family around that day. Father's pushing strollers; mother's leading the way with their to-do lists. This little scene was so tender and different.
Commenting that one half of the photo interested me more than the other half was never meant to imply that the shot does not formally work as a whole. As a composition, all works beautifully (especially as you point out Caroline, the elemental way the baby looks at Dmitri). I was commenting strictly about the subject matter.
And now that I look at the photo again, one other comment. The mother is not Rubenesque- she's just fat. I know Ruebens preferred large women, though if he ever painted a women this well-nourished, I've yet to see it.
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