Senior Moments

This year, the Covid 19 pandemic has left many high school seniors with a sense of loss; proms and graduation activities have been altered to allow for social distance measures, and in some cases, events have been postponed or canceled.  Social distancing has kept kids from hanging out with friends!

I hope everyone is well and safe this spring, and as the concerns continue, we do see a glimmer of hope as restrictions are slowly and cautiously lifted.

I hope you will consider calling or texting me about a senior portrait session; I am only doing outdoor sessions with social distancing;  and proofing is being done via email or drop box.

Whether I get to photograph your senior or you select someone else, here’s a few things to consider!  

When you think about clothing; solid colors and long sleeves are the best choices. 

Hair and makeup;  good blending on the makeup; less is more.

Look out for jewelry that may cause reflected glare or flare

Wardrobe changes; consider things that are quick to change

Bring personal props that tell YOUR story, who you are, what you love…musical instrument, pet, car, art supplies, tools, fishing tackle, sports gear…make it fun!

Finallly, congrats to all our 2020 Seniors, you will have many great stories to tell about a very unusual graduation season.  I sincerely hope all your dreams come true!

DIY Tips

It’s been a while since I sat down and did a blog, but with winter on it’s way out, it will soon be great weather for those outdoor shoots!  And with the ease and convenience of digital photography, many more people are taking the DIY route with much of their photography.  That being said, I thought I would share a few pointers that will help some of you get much better results that you can be proud of.

Learn to “see” the LIGHT

One common mistake I notice is improper lighting outdoors.  Too many people choose the wrong time of day to shoot their portraits, and most people do not use a fill source.  

“Wait for it”…

Photographers call it the “sweet light”;  it’s that brief time just right before sunset, when the world takes on a soft, dreamy glow;  THAT’S when you do those beautiful shots outdoors, so…WAIT for it…

However sometimes a wedding doesn’t wait for the “sweet light”  (that’s because photographers don’t get to help with the planning)  If you are forced to do photography at the worst time of day, in harsh sun, try to smooth out the hard shadows with a fill in flash; tilt the flash away so you just get the fill/spill, and turn down the power of the flash, using your camera’s menu.  You will have to practice this, but give it a shot; you want nice images, right?  Another option is to move people into the shade, if you can, but still use the fill in flash!

  You can also use a  large white reflector…I use a sheet of white styrofoam from a hardware store… have someone hold it for you, standing beside the subject, just out of the camera view; practice this and you will see how great it works!  Be sure to practice before the actual shoot…

Take a look at the two images below; see those ugly shadows on the bride’s face?  Now look at the next image; see how soft the light is?  There are no ugly shadows on the faces in the second shot.  The first image was taken in early afternoon, with no fill source to smooth out the shadows; the second shot was taken about 30-45 minutes before sunset; that’s the “sweet light” I am talking about!  it is worth waiting for, but get your posing down quickly, cause the sweet is very FLEET!  

Strike a Pose!

Whether you like it or not, posing is a key ingredient when it comes to a nice portrait; most people do not know how to pose for a portrait, and almost always will strike their own pose, then hate it when they actually SEE it..(ask me how I know this?)  So….YOU need to pose them.

If you want great portraits, spend some time learning about posing; look at some professional websites…try to pick photographers from a professional organization group, and those with the most experience.  Learn how to make ladies look slimmer; learn feminine and masculine posing and head tilts; Learn the “pose flow”; learn how to move quickly from one pose to another, always knowing what you are going to do next;  that will aid you greatly if you are shooting in the sweet light; and also your photo shoot will take just minutes, not hours!  (I can do a full shoot in 30-45 minutes…)

And do your cropping in-camera, it saves time in post production;  I always do a full length, 3/4 length, and some close-ups, changing the pose up a little with each one!  Gives you lots of choices, and only takes a minute, no need for alot of post cropping, either!

Now take a look at the second set of images, the engagement couple…every shot is a posed image…I directed the couple what to do; they still look pretty natural and spontaneous, right?  So learn to direct people into some cute, flattering poses.  

If you are truly serious about your photography, think about joining a pro organization, and take a few classes; learn to shoot in manual mode; learn good composition, learn to use studio lighting.  A great organization to start with is the INPPA in Tulsa.  They are a nice blend of long time professionals and inspiring photographers, and they hold regular learning seminars in addition to their monthly meetings.  

Most important of all, get out there and have fun!

Happy Fall, Ya’ll

And just like that, summer faded into fall!  

There is not a better time for location portraits than fall.  Fall clothing, comfortable temperatures with colorful leaves as a backdrop are all perfect elements for a great family portrait.

I encourage you to think about incorporating “life elements” into your portrait; what’s your passion?

Is there a special car, a pet, a musical instrument that’s part of your life?  Are you a cyclist? A biker?

Remember that portraits do not require getting all dressed up, rather they are about YOU, and they

tell YOUR story.

What about location?  Got a favorite lake getaway?  A favorite park?  Your own outdoor space at home 

with the pets?  Let’s get those creative ideas flowing, and then let’s make your plans HAPPEN!!

Get started with a consultation; we will discuss location, time of day, clothing and props.  

It has been a long, hot summer and I am excited about fall and all the possibilities for some great

portraits.  Let’s get out there, and make some memorable portraits!