Elizabeth Sallee Bauer + The Story Behind

A month or so back, we can across the most enduring photo from Elizabeth in our IG tag feed and we fell in love with it immediately. The connection between her son and his pet chicken totally had us weak in the knees and then throw in the golden summer light and the glorious colors, we knew we wanted to feature it in our The Story Behind series. We are giddy to have Elizabeth here today to tell us how this cute little number came to be.

IG Handle:.

What inspires your art?
My children inspire my art. I love documenting their daily lives. They are so free spirited and creative. They see every day as an adventure and I love capturing that.

Where was this photo taken?
This photo was taken in our backyard. We live in a small rural town in northern Wisconsin.

How did the location add or hinder to your image?
I was happy with this location because it was such a natural setting for my son to be playing with his little chick. I loved the grass all around and I love shooting on this particular hill in the evening. I always encourage the kids to play there.

DSLR, iphone, instant or film?
DSLR | Nikon D750 and shot with a Sigma 135 ART lens.

What were your camera settings for this image?
f2.5, ISO 100, 1/1250.

Can you tell us “The Story Behind” this shot?
My son was taking his new pet chicken “Doc Brown” outside into the yard for the first time. Our baby chicks live in the house, in my husbands office(!) until they are old enough to be outside in the coop. This particular little gal was unique. She was given to us by a teacher who had hatched her in a high school science classroom. She was the only chick and was used to sitting on students’ shoulders all day. Suffice to say she was VERY attached to people. My son brought her outside so she could start getting used to the outdoors but she just wanted him to hold her. He was trying to reassure her that the grass is really quite nice when I got this shot.

What speaks to you about this image? What specifically made you press the shutter?
I really loved their interaction. I loved how he was taking to her and trying to make her feel safe and she just wanted to be close to him.

What was your composition technique with this shot?
I used a low perspective when composing this shot, I was laying on the grass. I wanted the grass to be the bottom third of the image. I knew I wanted my two subjects pretty much centered so to make the image a bit more interesting I shot low and “through” the grass to add interest as well as intimacy. I liked the idea that I was just “peeping” in on these two.

Did you have any lighting challenges/How did you light the image?
It was still a bit early for golden hour so I had to be careful not to blow the highlights on my son’s hair too much since the sun was still pretty high. I love the backlight in that location and use it whenever I can get my subjects to play there.

Did you use any special techniques – freelensing, prism, etc?
No special techniques.

Was this photo happenstance or did you visualize it prior? If so, how did you envision the image and set up for it?
I didn’t visualize this particular image but I knew I wanted a picture of my son and his chick interacting in that location. The lighting is always pretty in the evening there so I just asked him to play with her on our little hill.

Did you use a preset to edit this image, your own selective edits or a combination of both?
I did a general edit in Lightroom mainly to get my greens in control. Shooting in a very green location, surrounded by trees in the summer has it’s challenges with tint. I then did a hand edit in Photoshop to sharpen, pop the colors and add contrast.

Do you have any addition information you would like to share with our readers?
My son Ollie took Doc Brown to the county fair as a 4h project and won a blue ribbon!

We LOVE Elizabeth’s work and we think you will too! You can follow her at the link below:

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