oh, thanks a lot! its a lot different than shooting a snapshot or even spending some time exposing a photo. you put so much effort into it,however, that you're going to most likely come out with the photo you had in mind. just take your time!
Terrific. It's the last one of the set that really gets me, but they're all compelling pictures. I find this sort of "slightly environmental" portraiture really hard to do well, but when it works, it captures something about the subject that's very individual and communicates it really strongly.
I've got a 16-month-old, so I take a lot of "family snapshot" pictures. Far too many of them end up at one extreme or another: "here's a gigantic setting with the boy occupying three grains in the middle of it" or "here's yet another photo of his face with nothing to give it any context". (I'm leaving aside the group that fall into "here's a really terrible picture that I'll keep anyway because it's of him".) The winners are the ones in the middle: "here he is in his natural habitat", as it were.
As mostly a non-portrait shooter (as I once told someone, I don't even really *believe* in other people, so how can I expect my camera to?), I find this hugely challenging. You seem to be hitting the sweet spot pretty well---if I ever shot a set of ~20 photos of which those were the four best, I'd be pretty darned happy with myself for it!
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_