Feb 28, 2009

Senior Sisters: Senior Portrait Session

Don't these two senior sisters jump off the screen? They're so glamorous! Thanks to amazing light from the twilight sun and some fun effects in post processing (love the color on that third and fifth one!), these images really work as both senior portraits and head shots for the girls' budding modeling career. You can see more of their work at Amelie Photography. One of the owners is a friend and inspired me to get into the photography business in the first place.

I had so much fun with lens flare and natural rim light! I have been focusing on that kind of light lately, and it's great to see the work pay off. My favorites? So hard to choose, but of course the first one is my favorite. The pose was the girls' idea and I really worked in post to slightly overexpose their faces and bring out those gorgeous brown eyes. I also love the straight-faced shots especially the second shot and the profile shot of her sister in the same setting. Mom will love the smiles (she made sure I got some teeth in there!), so I think everyone will be happy with the results.

I did a fun little special edit for the girls using their last portrait. This 4x6 card has two versions: the first version with one sister facing towards you and the second one with the portrait flipped and the names rearranged accordingly. These two are close friends, but I thought it would be nice if they each had a version where their face was facing right side up. They can use these for graduation announcements or get wallets made and have them for yearbook signing day. Enjoy, girls! And congratulations!

Feb 23, 2009

Making Art: Maternity and Couple Session

Maternity sessions can be a lot of work for all concerned, especially if you do two locations in one session which happened to be the case for this mom- and dad-to-be. Indoor locations and especially studio-style poses take a lot of time to set up, but the results are stunning.

First, we took some gorgeous couple and maternity shots at a local park in a bit of a drizzle. It was a challenge to keep the rain off of my camera, especially without an assistant, but we made it work. Besides, I'd been dying to use my matching umbrellas for months since I bought them! I have a little secret, though, rain doesn't usually show in a photo unless the shutter is open for a longer than you usually use for a portrait. So, for the sixth and seventh images, I added to the rain with a bit of Photoshop painting in post.

The studio-style photos were taken inside this couple's apartment where we rigged up a black background to create the kind of images mom had requested. The rug? It came straight from the living room to our make-shift studio, a white wall in the nursery for the baby-boy (or will it be a girl?) -to-be. Since the couple's living room and kitchen was decorated in black, white, and red, it seemed only fitting that they wanted photos that continued that theme. In fact, the mom is an artist herself and I couldn't resist snapping a few of her sketches, especially since one of the poses she did outside included a foot-popping kiss similar to the middle illustration below:

Of course the session is just a small part of the work that goes into creating a collection of portraits for each client. Post processing takes at least twice as long as the set up, research, and execution of each photo shoot. Because of the requests I've received from clients, I've reworked my packages to include the basic retouching and editing for each image as well as a spot color or other special edit for every shoot. Although that means I can't offer as many images than I used to, it's made images like the second one possible. I spend less time processing multiple versions of the same pose and more time working on color, shade, and subtlety in each portrait. It's a nice change, and I've come to develop my own style as an artist, not just a photo-taker.

Feb 19, 2009

The Hospital

We are back from the hospital and our son is feeling and breathing much better thanks to excellent care by the doctors, nurses, and respiratory staff of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It's tough for anyone to be in the hospital, but I can honestly say that it was a positive experience for all concerned.

As mentioned in my previous post, our son was admitted to the hospital for an extended stay to prepare him for sinus surgery. At the hospital, he recieved extra breathing treatments, IV antibiotics, and additional medication to put him in peak physical condition for the operation. (This week-long hospital admission is called a CF "tune up" in the cystic fibrosis community.)

The sinus surgery went well, and though it was a hard day for everyone, it was worth it. The surgeon said there was an amazing amount of blockage on both sides of his sinuses, even for someone with cystic fibrosis, and especially for someone so young. His recovery was quick, and we've noticed a difference already. Our son's appetite has increased; his energy level is higher, and I can hear an extra intake of air every time he breathes.

Though I don't usually use this blog to post about my own family, I know that this is one way I can thank the many, many people who have had us in our prayers, served us in hospital, and offered encouragement, help, and support. Thank you. God bless you. He has certainly blessed us.