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.