Dec 16, 2008

Christmas Around the Corner: Family Portrait Session, Sandy Springs GA

Christmas is next week! I'm been very busy doing the last sessions of the year and Christmas photo editing for clients. I have to get everything done before our family leaves on vacation, so I'm getting these edits done as soon as I can after the shoot.

This season, I've really started to love post-processing. It's fun to take a great image and make it something really special. I love to make the images "pop" using levels and saturation. It simplifies the colors and adds a real portrait look to a photograph. I have also been getting very good at cleaning up backgrounds (like fixing a mark in the wall or a scratch on a rocking chair as I did in these photos. Oh, yes, and getting rid of electrical outlets.)

Of course, the best part of being a photographer is taking the photos themselves. After all, I still believe that a good image is made at the shoot, not after. My favorites from this session? Definitely the 3-year-old in her rocking chair (shot in a small spot of wall space in the dining room). The couple shots are fun too. I had trouble picking which ones I liked best! Then, there's the family shots--really gorgeous all of them. I especially love the long shot of the family in front of their door. Including the background to provide context for an image is one of the things I'm working on in my photography lately.

Dec 9, 2008

Family in Fashion: Indoor Family Portrait Session

I have had way too much fun with these photos. I guess it's because my client presented a challenge and I was excited to research the possibilities and see what I could do! We were aiming for something a little more edgy and artistic than the run-of-the-mill family portraits. My client wanted her family pictures to look like something out of a magazine. So, my idea was to do a few "fashion ad" poses as well as my regular fare of candids and portraits. Then, in post-processing, I played around a lot with color, added quite a bit of brightness to the pictures, and even did some composite work to come up with what I think are some unique family portraits. I think the top one is my favorite. I love the blue color of their pants and used that color to design the rest of the portrait. I'm tempted to add a logo-like rendition of their family name in the upper right corner, but I don't post names on the website, so maybe that can come later.

Because we were inside for this shoot, we had a lot more wiggle room for the kids. We also had an easier time getting them to cooperate because they had little breaks in between photo sets. That was nice because, boy, did we do a lot of family portraits! Mom is a photo enthusiast and blogger herself, so she specifically wanted pictures that she wouldn't be able to take (mom with each of the kids, dad with each of the kids, couple shots, and of course, family shots). I snuck in a shot of the youngest girl holding one of the handmade purses my client makes and sells at boutique shows around Atlanta. It's so fun to know other moms who have their own businesses.

Dec 6, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas Card

Our family spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents' home in South Carolina last week. While we were there, I did a very short portrait session so we could get the photo for their Christmas card done. Once I'd taken the photos, they chose their favorite pose and left the rest up to me. It's always nice when clients (or family) trust my judgment with a design. It leaves me room to experiment and get it just right. Well, they were thrilled with the design, and I've just heard they ordered the prints tonight. Merry Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa!

Dec 1, 2008

More Christmas Card Pictures: Indoor Family Portraits

Lately, the weather has been okay during the beginning of the week but clouds begin to gather around Thursday, and Friday breaks into rain. Most times, Saturday is clear enough for a photo shoot, but it can be an iffy situation, even the day of the shoot. This Thanksgiving week was no exception.

Knowing this might be the case, my clients and I planned on an indoor location and an outdoor one. When we saw that the rain wouldn't ease up that morning, we went ahead and got some great portraits indoors at grandma and grandpa's house. I'm actually really glad we stayed inside. First of all, my camera gear didn't get wet, and we were able to use some of the really fun painted walls in the house as backdrops. I'm sure Little Miss wouldn't have been as agreeable in the damp weather.

Mom and I talked about whether or not to have her daughter wear her new glasses. My suggestion was to do some of both. When my son had to wear a helmet to correct plagiocephaly like the kids in these photos, I made sure to take lots of pictures of him wearing his helmet. After all, I wanted to remember what he looked like everyday. That was my reason for suggesting this to mom, and she seemed to agree. And don't those little glasses look cute?

Besides the beautiful family portrait at the top of the post, I really love the second one with Little Miss peering outside. I love how you can see her reflection in the glass. The kid-level portrait with mom and dad's legs was a special request from mom. It turned out to be quite a task to persuade Little Miss to pose for that one. Finally, that Santa hat just begged to be in a spot color photo.

Nov 26, 2008

Christmas Card Photos: Family Portrait Session

Ah, it's getting to be that time of year when we all start feeling a little anxious because Christmas is coming! So, it's time to get those Christmas photos done. This family had two poses they definitely wanted: the heads in the leaves (which took a good 5 minutes to set up) and a formal family portrait for 8x10 prints.

Despite the chilly weather and low light, we were able to get the shots in before any of us got too cold. (I did have to do a bit of head swapping during post processing, but I think the finished pictures look great.) I especially like the shot of mom and baby in red.

I can't decide whether I like the formal family portrait (bottom) in color or black and white. The color is so warm and friendly, but the black and white is clean and crisp. (Here's a trick to get your black and white photos looking this crisp: adjust the levels so that the dark tones end at pure black and the white tones end at pure white. It makes a big difference!)

In any case, I don't have to decide which photo is going on the family Christmas card. I can't wait to see what one they pick, though.

Last of the Fall Leaves

Say goodbye to fall. It is cold and that means winter! Incidentally, I'm having trouble keeping my wireless keyboard working lately. I think it doesn't sense my keystrokes when my fingers get cold. Weird, huh? Has anyone else heard of that?

I took a few photos of the last of the autumn leaves in Newton Park. It has been such a wonderful fall, I'm sad it see it go. Jacob is a fabulous nature photographer,and I've been trying to learn how to take better close-up leaf photos. Here's my response to his advice to "keep tryin.'"

Nov 19, 2008

Hembree Park in Autumn Colors: Family Photo Session

It's getting chilly here! With misty mornings and rain every other week, my photo shoots have been threatened by weather lately. (At least we aren't dealing with snowy weather like when we lived out west.) In the case of this shoot, it had rained for three days straight and the day of the shoot dawned very cloudy and windy. Thankfully, the weather held, and we got some great images of this gorgeous family.

Roswell has so much more autumn foliage than Alpharetta these days, so I'm glad we picked Hembree Park as our location. This family was so easy to work with as we went trekking about the park to find the best spots for photos. Their baby, a handsome 8-month-old, did so well, especially when we sat him on his own for a few portraits. And don't they look adorable?

This season (holiday sales come early for photographers) has been especially rewarding. I've been booked most weekends and have had enough time to take care of my responsibilities at home as well. Also, I just bought the domain name, so if you are looking up our site, typing the address will be a little faster. It is simply a redirect to this page, so all your old links should work fine; no need to update them.