With the start of the school year, this is a busy season for portraits for high school seniors who require a formal picture for their yearbook. This is also a great opportunity to take some different photos with props that reflect their personality and what they like. This week we took photos for Sam Morse. He wanted a dark background for the clothes he was going to wear. We set up the studio with only one light with a soft box and a reflector as a fill light. After we finished with his formal portrait we took some more pictures with a hat that he brought and also with some casual clothes. He was very happy with the end result. It was a great session.
A picture is a frozen moment in time. Pictures have to tell a story. So it's important to capture the mood of the time that is being frozen in time. The way she was dressed up, what she was doing, the chairs in the background, the location by the water. Everything tells us that she could be on vacation or on a enjoying a long weekend. The sunglasses, the dress and the way she is sitting tell us that it was bright day and the temperature was very comfortable.
When I look at this picture, I travel to a place of relaxation and tranquility.
We recently photographed Kelly's and Steve's wedding. The bride, the groom and their families were very welcoming. Weeks before the wedding we meat and talked on the phone with them a few of times. In the first meeting we got to meet each other and they understood if we were the right photographers for them. Over the next few weeks we were able to plan the wedding schedule and to setup the right expectations.
Then the big day came and all the planning and understanding of the day paid off. We knew exactly what equipment we needed and where to be at different times during the day. Making the day for the couple and for us less stressful. And the end result was what we imagined. Seeing how the couple loved the pictures was the most rewarding thing for us.
As kids grow, it gets more challenging to get natural smiles. Somehow, once they turn five, they start to give you a "cheese" smile when they stand in front of the camera. That being said, it is really important to learn ahead of time what makes the kid happy, what makes him or her smile, what things he or her gets excited about. This information, along with a proper studio setup is key to a successful photo session.
The set up for this session was rather simple. To the right, I used a studio light with a softbox as the main light, a reflector on the left to fill some light and a light with an umbrella directed to the backdrop to create some separation between the kid and the backdrop.
The other day at the park, my son and a couple of his friends started to play with the foliage after they finished playing soccer. I started taking pictures of them. This very cute and curious baby kept crawling to try to get close to the camera. I asked her and her mom if they wanted a picture. She sat down and stopped looking to touch the camera. I really think she was asking me to take some pictures of her too. Maybe she was thinking why are you only taking pictures of them and not me? by the way I’m cutter. I have to say she was a great model. She sat next to a tree, extended her arms and gave her mom a beautiful smile. The light from the sun illuminating the grass behind the tree was harsh and the background was going to be overexposed. So I position myself on an angle to only capture the baby and the tree behind her.
One of the challenges of photo sessions at the pick of the fall is that the landscape can change from one day to the next. You need to have your eyes open at all times looking for different alternatives. When we picked this location, trees were yellow and beautiful. We were also lucky that the day of the photo shoot we had some breeze that helped lots of leaves to fall in the middle of the photo shoot. That allowed us to be creative and play with different poses. And, on top of that, it made kids happy . Two days later all leaves had fallen down those trees. Scenery had a very different feel.
This is one my favorite pictures of a family photo session we did recently. We fell in love with the intensity of the girl's beautiful eyes that are well complemented by the green background. It was taken outdoors, using only natural light and a reflector. This was a very rewarding experience. Her brother was very sweet and excited about the photo session. Emilie was sweet and friendly but she wasn't as interested about the pictures as her brother was, but she was intrigued. So, we spent some time walking around with her and her brother before we took pictures. We even saw them sharing some time with some of their friends playing outside. That helped them to feel more comfortable with us. They talked to us about their interests, their cat and details about the backyard. It also gave us an opportunity to scout the area, and to see the direction of the sun and the quality of the light. Taking that time with them was key. It was very important for us that this was a positive experience for the family. That ultimately is reflected in the results of the photo session.
It is amazing how Linkedin has changed the professional market place. The way we project ourselves in our profile picture invites people to either click on our page or pass on it. This photo session was very exciting for us because our client had a specific idea of what he wanted to project with his photo. His ideas lead us to do a creative headshot session where we explored different backgrounds to achieve what he wanted to portrait. The location chosen to take the pictures was challenging. We had never taken pictures in the Boston Financial District area. And that came with its own challenges. We had to pack light because we were going to have to walk long distances with our gear. That means that we couldn't bring everything we usually bring to a photo session. But at the end it was a rewarding and successful session.
At the end this is the photo that we liked the most. The funny thing about it is that we decided to take it when we were done with the session and we were already packing. We saw an additional opportunity for a picture with a nice background that presented a very even light. We couldn't pass on it. So we said, why not? let's take one more picture.
What helped made this picture successful? At the end of a photo session the person being photographed is usually more relaxed in front of the camera and acts more naturally. And the photographer has a better connection with that person and knows what angles work best for him or her.
The photo session was great. We had a lot of fun. Our client was terrific. He was ready to try every idea we had, always with a great attitude.
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It's been a while since I wrote a post. I've have some photos from various photo sessions we've done lately that I'd like to share. I will do that starting tomorrow. Today, I want to share a photo that I took this morning from a walk in the rain with my son. Temperature was nice, so we decided to get the umbrellas and put on rain boots to go outside. Since he loves walking with his umbrella and jumping in puddles, he jumped off the couch and got himself ready to go.
To get this shot, I made sure that I had enough speed to freeze the action and get the splash in the shot. Because my son's umbrella is green, I asked him to pull the umbrella far from his face so we didn't get green reflection in his face and also to be able to get more light in his face.
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This morning I went for a walk with my son. Five minutes into our walk through the forest he said " just trees and trees and trees... Boooriiing" So I told him that if we paid attention to the surrounding he'd discover it was not going to be boring at all. Well, I have to say that we had a great morning. We found so many interesting things, hollow trees, birds, colorful mushrooms, cool spider webs, etc. At the end, he didn't want to go home at all. This is one of the pictures that I took.
Yesterday morning, while my son was reading in the living room before going to school, the light came through the window and gave him a beautiful rim light. I rushed to grab the camera and took a couple of shots before he realized what I was doing. I caught him off guard which allowed this spontaneous beautiful moment.
This picture was taken at the Valentine's Day event we had with ColoresKids . Kids had a great time doing crafts and getting their pictures taken. We set up our portable studio with a white background and different props to choose from for boys and girls.
Last night, while organizing and editing some pictures, I found this close up of our niece Mariana. I really love it.
What I love the most when photographing people, specially kids, is to be able to capture the relationship between siblings. I don't think I need to say a lot about the connection that exist between this two brothers. Looking at this picture just makes me smile.
Claudia Peralta Shepherd from ColoresKids invited us to participate in her studio's holiday event. We set up a studio where we took pictures to some of the families that attended the event. Kids had a great time doing crafts and posing for the pictures. What a great place for kids to do arts and crafts! We were really impressed with the feel of this place, Claudia and the stuff were very welcoming and creative. This a very nice place for kids to explore art and have some fun. The studio offers after school activities, movie night for the kids, birthday parties etc.
I love this picture of Ethan running up the hill with the beautiful yellow leaves on the ground and on the trees, combined with the green grass. And the light falling from behind makes it a very pleasent picture to look at.
We photograph children a lot. But not very often we capture the relationship between twins. This year, how ever, we'd been lucky that we've had many twins among our clients. Yesterday, we posted a couple of pictures of two twins, Ava and Sophia. Today, we are posting a picture of another set of twins.
I have to say, we are very fortunate to have the chance to photograph children and to witness how great siblings relationship can be. We felt in love with these two twins when we took their picture. We didn't ask them to smile or to look at the camera. We set up the opportunity for them to show the love for each other without giving them too many instructions. The way they hug eachother and how they smiled came naturaly. That is our ultimate goal. To capture who people are and how they feel.
We just had one more oportunity to take pictures of these lovely twins. They always make us smile, they are fun. They are both very cute and yet, so different. One is blond, the other one is brunette. One is outgoing and the other one more introvered. They are smart and they always are taking care of each other. And they are really fun to photograph. Some times they are camera shy and some times they are not.
I have a project. I want to be better at black and white photography. I want to try to post one or two B&W pictures per week in this blog. And once I have tips, I will share them.
I'm not showing the entire face in this picture. In many cases, showing only a portion of the entire thing makes it more intersting. A flash wasn't used for this picture. It was at night and there was two dim bulbs in each side of the room. it appears like if it was taken in the middle of the day. The ISO was a bit high, the shutter speed was really slow and the aperture was wide open.
Our buddy Cory is a self-published author who has released one novel, Dark Shield, which is part one of the Half-Breed Series. It’s a young adult science fiction/fantasy. Recently we took a photo of him to use for his website and blog, and this is the end result.
His blog features a series called Wes Parker: Monster Hunter, which is a collection of stories following Wes as he hunts creatures of the night. Here’s a sample of his first post for the series.
"I don’t know why I get myself into these awful situations. There was a vampire in front of me and a vampire behind me, both eager to feed on my blood. It was a full moon, the sky was clear and the night was cool—a perfect night for hunting. Now these weren’t your now-a-days vampires that you could date and were pretty and blah, blah, blah. These monsters wanted nothing but to drink my blood and were very, very ugly. I personally like myself the way I am so I was going to try and kill them first."
To read more visit his blog cjpikebooks.wordpress.com. You can also find links to his book as well. The second of the Half-Breed Series, Vampire King, comes out on 10/23/13.