Monday, January 20, 2014

Studio Light Practice

This Fall and Winter I have been blessed to have seen my business grow. I have learned a little bit more with each shoot. More about how to capture the light, how to relax the client and more about post-processing.

I have also learned that the weather here in the Northwest is inconsistent. I have learned that being a natural light photographer can be challenging come November. Cold and wind, no problem. A bit of drizzle, rough on hair, but it can be overcome. Downpour, now that is a problem. We're not talking about a shower, but consistent steady rain. Rain that lasts for days.

So, I have been dreaming. Dreaming of indoor shoots during the off-season. Dreams of theme shoots.

Fortunately, I have a husband who supports my dreams and who several months ago gave me an Amazon gift certificate. I supplemented it just a little bit and have successfully set up my first indoor studio. Granted, it's basic and it's definitely beginner grade but it provides a wonderful learning environment.

For under $150 I purchased a backdrop frame, a white muslin backdrop, two umbrella lights, a background light, and a trigger/receiver set (which sadly is not compatible with my external flash unit).
I dragged the girls down for an impromptu shoot before bedtime and snagged Bailey a little later for a mandatory shoot.
What I learned:
My shots all look a little overexposed. I believe I need to move the lights back further. (Need to clean up a little to make more room).
I placed the background light and the sparkle shows up nicely in Anique's hair but I feel I need to place the light a bit higher. It also needs to be on the other side so the backdrop is darker behind the bright side of the face. Right now I have the light balance backwards.
In the shot of both girls, Anique's face is casting shadow onto Soulea's face. I need to position my models better and work on light placement with multiple subjects.


And yes, Bailey's hair is a lovely yellow, orange color. You have to pick your battles when they are 15 years old. Hair grows out, right?

Monday, January 13, 2014

What's Underfoot

Have you ever had a project that you really wanted to get done? You bought all the materials and then proceeded to set it aside because it all seems overwhelming? One that you think you'll do when the time is right...? Or maybe that's just what I do.
We bought out house in 2001. It was new construction and we were young and on a tight budget. The entire downstairs was unfinished but we were so excited to be able to pick out colors for carpet, tile and counters. Only it turned out that unless you could afford to upgrade, the color choices were white, off-white or beige.
Over the years we've upgraded as we could afford it. The carpet in the bedrooms has been put off over and over again. This summer I painted the floor in the master bedroom.  
We've been wanting to update the carpet in the kids room forever. However, as usual we had a limited budget. I found these amazing carpet tiles at Home Depot. They are by Simply Seamless. I went with Charcoal to complement the gray and black in Bailey's room and the black in Anique's. However, they come in several other colors as well. I ordered them back in December and then put it off and then put it off some more.
Finally, this weekend, Bailey and I began moving furniture out of his room and pulling carpet at 10:30 am. We pulled staples, swept and vacuumed and then started putting down the tiles. By 2:30 pm, the carpet was in and his furniture back in place. This was one of the quickest and easiest home improvement projects I have completed in a long time.
The carpet feels great underfoot and it truly does look seamless. It has really pulled his room together. Now I wish I hadn't put it off so long. Of course, I still have Anique's room to do...I better get moving.
My awesome helper and the muscle for the job.
The first tile is down. 
 All done!

Happily Ever After

I'm always nervous when I shoot weddings. It's such a big day. One that you want to preserve just right. You don't get any do-overs.
This couple had planned a small elopement but ended up with a handful of loving family members there. The grooms best friend performed the ceremony. The bride's daughter stood as maid of honor.
Little touches and stolen kisses. This new family of three was so excited and so happy. Their enthusiasm and joy was contagious.


Big Brother, Sister and a Sweet New Baby


A few weeks before Christmas I received an email from a sweet woman who was hoping to get a few pictures of her family and her expected newborn. We set a date out a few weeks and it all worked out great. Her new little one was just 8 days old on our selected day.

This brand new little boy has a big brother and a big sister to watch over him. They were so well behaved and we had fun playing with the ornaments. And there may have been just a little bit of bribery to get some peeks up at the camera. Anique came as my photo buddy and dangled things over my head occasionally to get eyes focused on the camera when needed.

I'm still growing in the area of newborn photography but J. was great with helping to arrange her new little guy. Yes, I've had two of my own, but when handling others brand new babies, I feel like I'm going to break them. Weird, huh?

This was such a delightful family and I'm so glad everything worked out and we were able to take these photos.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Have you ever tried to evolve your hobby into a career? I've tried different things over the years and trying to do them on a larger scale took all the fun out of them.
As I've worked on growing my photography business, it continues to bring me joy and I enjoy the whole process. Well, maybe not the paperwork and taxes.
I love when clients have their own fun ideas they want to try. It makes the photos more natural and really helps their own personality shine through. Since these were taken just before Christmas, A. wanted to use a tinsel garland to tie her younger sister up. It was fun watching them play around and such a good picture of the relationship between them.
We decided to use their garland and my ornaments to decorate one of the little trees that was there as well.
I'm so blessed to have this growing business and further blessed to have had the chance to meet so many wonderful people.