Why should you invest in custom portraiture?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yes, it can be done! | Middle Tennessee Children's Photographer {frogs and faeries}

A session with my own child, that is! My hubby took B on a little trip to his grandparents for the afternoon leaving Jakey and me to find something to do on our own. Now, of course, what's the first thing that comes to my mind? Pictures!

I haven't done Jake's official one year session yet since his birthday is smack dab in the middle of winter. I wanted to wait until the weather began to warm up so that we could get outside for some sweet greenery. Also, wide open spaces (dixie chicks, anyone?) are much more conducive to an on-the-go toddler than my little studio. Who are we kidding - he'd just walk off the backdrop and into his room to play! :o)

The first 10 minutes or so were filled with me chasing him around and saying everything I could think of to get him to look at me. He was much more interested in pushing his own stroller than paying attention to me. I was almost ready to put the camera up and just enjoy the day with him until I got this sweet shot. You all know I'm not a posey-cheesey kind of photographer, so I lurve this one!


Then I spotted this pile of logs/firewood,and I have an "A-HA" moment. He can't get off without my help. Yes - trapped! This is probably my favorite, and I'm thinking of adding a texture to it next to see what that would look like. I'm definitely ordering this puppy in a big old fine art canvas!


After the logs, we moved on to the wrought iron fence. Something for him to hold onto long enough for me to get into position.


Next, an outfit change. Into the brand new outfit I had bought at Children's Place about 30 mins. prior to this spur-of-the-moment session. I'm tellin' ya - I was on a mission today! When I saw the color of this shirt, I knew I had to get it for my little red head.

His first experience with a dandylion . . . seconds later instead of blowing it, he ate it. Typical.


I wanna do something a little bit differently with this next image. I'm gonna show you the image that came directly out of my camera (gasp!) and the finished product. Lots of people think that once you get a big fancy, expensive camera, BAM! you've automatically have great images. But I'm hear to tell ya, it's a lot more involved than that. On top of learning creative composition, natural and studio lighting, correct positioning, etc, photographers spend hours upon hours learning the ins and outs of their camera. Most professional photographers shoot in Manual Mode - that is we tell the camera exactly what to do. So those of you that have seen me fiddling around with the buttons on my camera and wondered just what in the heck I was doing, I was setting up the shot - telling my camera exactly what I want it to produce.

The goal is to produce correctly exposed images everytime, but sometimes that doesn't happen, and images get either slightly under or over exposed. Especially with quick toddlers who run into changing light all the time. This is where knowing your way around Photoshop comes in handy. Professional photographers can spend anywhere from 5-10 minutes on each image in what we like to call our "digital darkroom." Photoshop allows us to turn an image into a work of art, to put our own original flare into the image. Different images are processed differently depending on the feelings the artist gets from first looking at the image.

So, enough with my rambling and a tiny glimpse into my world!

Here is the image SOOC (straight out of camera):
Jake4 SOOC
One of my favorites, but obviously underexposed with a bright or "blown" spot on his right cheek. Normally, I would just discard this one, but like I said, I LOVE it!

I spent about 10 minutes in Photoshop doing a quick edit on it to see if it was salvageable.
I probably need to spend another 10-15 minutes to perfect the image, but right now, I'm pretty stoked at the save!

So, why am I rambling on and on about this, you ask? First, I think it's important that you know that your session doesn't end after we say goodbye. It's actually just the beginning. I take time with each image determining the ones that best represent your child and your session. To the images that make the cut, I hand touch each one adding my own personal flavor to it until I feel it is ready for the big reveal.

And secondly, I'm thinking of offering short classes on how to take great snapshots of your children. I haven't worked the details out in my mind yet, but I'd love to hear your opinions on it and if anyone is interested!

And if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and looking at my beautiful baby boy!



Joy said...

love the blue shirt and I luv the one of him on the logs-great idea no escape.

Kimberly said...

Such good pics!!!

Elizabeth said...

These are awesome (as usual!). Jake is SO cute. I may have to go get the same shirt for Mason, I love that blue!

Anonymous said...

What a doll!!!Great work,

love, Denise

marathonmommy said...

I love them!!! In the last one, Jake looks so much like Brooklyn!! He's such a handsome boy. Love the log picture and the "save". Awesome, as usual. I'd love to take your class!! Any tips on how not to let Photoshop overtake every spare moment? :D Now THAT's a class I need!!! Thanks for sharing a peek into the behind the scenes life!

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