Archive for November, 2012


Trying to become a sustainable business in the competitive field of photography means understanding the elements of running a business, promoting, marketing and delivering a product people will want.  The dilemma is is how easy it is for a competitor to enter the market and the hysterically low barriers of entry digital cameras has created.  Translation, anyone with a digital camera can say they’re a photographer and compete.  Often they compete only on price making it difficult for everyone else.  I’m no exception to any of this.

With this in mind it’s important to distinguish oneself as different and worth the investment by the consumer.  The only way to do this is to innovate, create and always push the limits of one’s skill to the next level.  That’s exactly what I tried to do with our shoot with Victoria.  In this shoot we tried to explore new poses and angles to create more dynamic images.  I like to think we made a good stride forward this time around.

The above shot was take with Victoria one stair-level up.  The goal was to capture the growing vines and foliage int he background while keeping a keen focus on the subject.

The above image was take with Victoria sitting in front of a store-front.  We took the photo from an elevated level and tried to keep a shallow depth of field.  Post processing included some blue-black vignette and some light cross-processing.  One of the big obstacles on the day was the wind.  I had to keep timing the shot as the wind blew Victoria’s hair one way or the other.  A short time into the shoot I quit fussing over where her hair was because I started to notice how it created variety from shot to shot.  A natural hair-dresser of sorts, primping and making adjustments in-between shots.

Up to now, I almost always forgot about the hands.  I’ll pose people in groups and focus on their face, but the hands always add a more human element.  In this pose the simple use of the hands, having Victoria lean forward and shooting close created an image full of personality.  The image below tries to capture a similar element.

The final image, below, was an experiment.  Victoria is sitting on a yellow bench with a yellow brick backdrop.  I was not impressed with the colors after looking at the processed image.  I wanted to create some drama so I converted to filtered black and white (orange), heightened the contrast and shadows, converted the image to negative, added a mask layer and filled with gradient black and white.  When I converted the image from negative again, this was the result.  I added a subtle platinum process to it for a little extra drama and thus was the final image.  This one below is the latest addition to my portfolio.

Family Portrait – Mayos

What’s the hardest part of taking family photos?  Easy answer – it’s getting everyone to look at the camera and smile at the same time.  The younger the subjects, the more challenging this can be.  It’s something I need to work on.  I’m thinking about investing in a loud, obnoxious, blinking, furry and shiny toy.

Of course, even when I’m able to get everyone to look at me, it doesn’t always mean they’ll be smiling.

Of course, a phony smile is easy to spot.  Real facial expressions can be just as much fun.

 

Hello Olde Town, my old(e) friend!  When Aaron and I arrived at Olde Town Conyers last Saturday morning we were stunned to find roving crowds following photographers.  In fact, it was just plain surreal.  So many photographers trying to make a living snapping cute little photos of children, families and a couple oddities.  Maybe it’s time to start scouting some new areas for taking photos.

 

Having said that, we had the great privelage of photographing Stephanie, Jimmy and Micah last week for their family portraits.  In our constant effort of improving and always learning, the lesson of the week is on babies.  Micah, an adorable four-month-old was cooperative enough, just, he was very unimpressed with the photographer and the idea of smiling was about as realistic as a tidal wave striking Conyers, Georgia.  Lesson learned: Have a toy that has lights, makes noise and grabs a baby’s attention on hand at all times!

This photo of Stephanie and Micah was nice enough on it’s own, and with some cropping added some tenderness to the image.  I added a touch of cross-process for a splash of drama and there it is.

This photo of Stephanie and Jimmy is one of my favorite poses, however it’s getting a bit old.  I call it, “Stalker Dude” where I place him in the background and use a real shallow depth-of-field to blur him a bit.  The good news is most of my clients who are women love the style.  The bad news is most of my clients who are men don’t much care for it.  We’ll see if I choose to keep using it.

One final shot of the three all together.  Nothing real fancy hear other than it’s simplicity.  Sometimes a photo just doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to be effective.