Last week we talked about how to use light creatively in your photos. Please read that post first! Not because the have to be watched in order but because you can't miss it! Ha!...
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Ok so today I was thinking about why and how I have the motivation to take pictures of my kids every day. Well, almost everyday. People always ask me how I do it. What camera do I have and what lenses? But people seem to forget to ask me why I do it. Is it because they know the why behind my projects or that they can presume to know the why? Do I really talk about it all that much that people don't even need to ask me because they already know why I do it? That is entirely possible! The "why" is almost the more important question isn't it? Would you do it? Could you do it? First we must figure out the "why" behind
So I was thinking today that most people may not be aware that we sell custom jewelry with along with our normal wall portrait orders. This jewelry is literally amazing! I have a necklace myself that I just love love love. I wear it all the time and it has my little kids on it so why wouldn't I love it?! These make great gifts for moms or grandmas and your favorite aunts!
But what about the men you say? Well don't forget about he key chains, money clips or paper weights for your favorite dad, grandpa or uncle! I am so excited to be offering this and I just can't wait to see what your creations will look like!
Now, if you have been paying attention, my last post discussed what I do to prepare for a photography session. You will surely want to stay tuned for the part two of this educational series about me!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"~Benjamin Franklin
While brainstorming my discussion topics today, I got a little distracted. For those that know me, this is not an unusual occurrence. I tend to get distracted all the time. You know- when you walk into a room and you have zero clue as to why you are there? Or you sit down to your desk to get some work done but you get sucked into Facebook and you can't get out again? This happens multiple times a day for me. Couple that with the fact that I am homeschooling my son, am a cub scout den leader and acting as a chauffeur most days of the week, you can virtually forget the idea that I actually might accomplish something meaningful in one day. So what do I do to help this? I plan ahead. I make lists and I stick to them. If I have a master list I can get anything done and I can always refer back to it when I notice that I have gotten off track.
So on my list today was to start brainstorming for a new session I have coming up. I will photographing three little ones and their parents. I get really excited with multiple children sessions, especially when the number is an odd one. Working with three or even five kids gets all my ideas flowing and I can't wait to begin! Needless to say I am excited but I just wanted to make a small list for you today to show you what kind of planning goes into a session like this one. It's no easy task to get everything ready. Without my list I would be completely lost.
1. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork:
This one task, although a boring one, is probably one of my most important. Paperwork is a must. Keeping track of model releases and contracts, mileage and extra costs per session is surely a hard one! If it were not for some really awesome computer programs to help me out I think I would be completely lost. But all in all I feel like I am in control of the madness that is paperwork and I have to be proud of that. Boring tasks are never fun to complete. Multiply that by several clients per month and you have a confusing mess! I love that I can take control of this with ease.
2. Meetings, meetings, meetings
From the consultation to the ordering session there is a lot of times that I am in contact with my clients face to face. Several emails and lots of questions later we have planned the perfect session at the perfect time and at the perfect place. My thinking never stops and my lists are never ending throughout this entire process.
3. Gear check!
Before the actual session takes place there is a ton of things I need to make sure I have ready before I can meet my clients. My gear is obviously a very important part to my business. It is not the end-all be-all of how wings work but without it I would be lost for sure! Checking to make sure things are working properly and are clean are just some of the steps I take to make sure I am prepared. Having a backup camera and battery and a "plan B" is something never to take for granted. Photography gear is just that- gear. It's not a brain or a fool proof method to anything. Having backup plans and back up gear is an essential part of this business. Having it all in tip top shape is the next step. I check my gear before each and every session- even if I had a session the day prior. You never know when things are going to fail.
Well for those that follow my work, you will know that it is very rare that I use any type of props at my sessions. I always try to use natural props or things that enhance the portrait rather than take away from it. Client requests are always taken into consideration and I love that people sometimes will have great ideas for themed lifestyle sessions. Because, as you know, I do everything completely customizable. So, bottom line? Making sure I have all the props I need and making sure they are clean and ready is obviously very important.
This one is super important. I am in constant "photographer mode" when I am driving around. There is nothing I won't do to get a great location if we need it! I want the background to your portraits to match your style and vibe of your home. No small detail goes unnoticed when it comes to the location of your photography session. And, on any given day you can spy me catching up on my cartoon themes so I have some background knowledge when I go to sing them to your children. Or- you can catch me reading my son's Scooby Doo joke book so I have fresh joke to tell to get a laugh. You could also say that anything Disney is my forte so I have plenty of kid knowledge in my back pocket.
6. Tricks of the trade!
Photographing kids is probably my favorite part of this job. I love getting families the artwork they deserve for their homes. I love getting that great "money shot" where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. But, for the most part, the kids are the best. With some cool tricks I have up my sleeve we usually have tons of fun. Some of my tricks may even surprise you! Naming my pet "giraffe" who lives on my camera is kinda fun for the little ones and the stickers they just may get in the end of the session can make any kid happy!
Bottom line is, no stone goes unturned to make sure I am prepared for your session. You can bet that what ever you want I will probably be able to do (or at least consider!). And, if you have no idea what you want thats ok too because I love surprise sessions. To do this for people every day is surely a dream come true and it makes my heart sing.
Want to know more? Go ahead and contact me today to discuss the finer details of your next session! I can't wait to hear from you!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
We all know that photography is art. It is a very subjective type of art just like all other forms of art media but there is a good way to go about starting out and a not-so-good way about starting out. The good way is to learn the rules. For some people it can take years to learn photography. Everyone not only learns at their own pace but they learn different things at a time making it a really intricate type of art. Those of us from the photography industry know that it takes a lot to be happy with your own work. Sometimes, I myself, go through periods of self doubt and then the next day I will feel better. It really depends on your personal learning curve and what you are learning. I have compiled a few things that I think will help anyone take a photo better. Whether you are taking portraits of people or pets or the field next door to your house- all of these learning tricks will make a difference in your own personal work. If you joined us last week we talked all about composition in How To Take Better Pictures: Part One. Composition is really important to your photo- it tells the viewer where to look in the photo and it makes things either pleasing or not based on what your mind likes to see. Please go back and read it if you haven't because I think it is a very valuable lesson.
This week we will explore how to focus on your point of interest and make it look more appealing. For most people the point of interest seems really obvious. If you are taking a picture of a person then that person is your point of interest right? A lamp on a table or a flower on the ground, the main object in your photo that you want everyone to see is the point of interest.
But what if you have an idea of what you want others to "see" in your photo and they don't see it right away? What have you done wrong? Let's explore some scenarios that make sense.
1. Make sure your background is pleasing and not distracting. What is a background and what makes it pleasing? A background is any part of the photo that you have taken that is behind your point of interest (your subject). If you take a portrait of a person at the park- the background is all the trees and the bushes behind them. The key to a good background is one that is uniform and not too busy. You want your subject to stand out but also be separate from the background. When they blend too much you don't have a good solid portrait. Sometimes people forget to check to see if there are any "tree branches coming out of heads" or other distracting elements in the frame. The best photographer will sometimes miss this. Sometimes just stepping a couple feet to the right or left can make a huge difference. Let us look at some examples.
In these photos- there are nice pleasing backgrounds. The first one has a solid color and no distracting things are surrounding the subject. It forces the viewer to see what you want to them to see- the subject. The second photo also has a solid background and forces you to see only the subject on front and nothing behind.
2. Make sure your subject stands out from the crowd. It is really important that people know what you want them to focus on. Sometimes there are too many distracting elements to a photograph and it won't allow your viewers eyes to settle on what you think is the most important thing in the photo. Also, contrasting colors can help too so things stand out a bit more from the rest. When we are in "snapshot" mode the background is not really important but when taking a portrait it is an certainly something to consider.
Well I hope these things have given you an idea of what it means to have a good background when photographing your subjects. Sometimes we get so focused on our subjects that we forget to think about the details in the rest of the image. A good photographer will know how to do this well. That being said- if you like the photo then nothing else matters. All of the "bad" photos that I have taken are still important to me because they remind me of a time and place that I never want to forget.
Portrait photography is my passion. It is so important to me that I make you look good. I will not rest until I can get that perfect shot. If you want me to do this for you then please contact me today. I would love to make a custom family portrait session just for you. It is what I do best!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
Member of Red Thread Sessions