Jul 24, 2009

The Entire Family: Extended Family Portrait

Sometimes I get last-minute calls to do group photos. On this occasion, my clients were all together as an entire family for one more day and wanted a chance to capture that moment. What a thrill!

I love the details in the photos: the rolled-up sleeves of dad's shirt (so casual, but so cool), the brilliant smiles on the parents of the newborns, and grandma and grandpa's obvious affection for their oldest granddaughter. And who can get over those darling kids? Gorgeous, and so important to record. (I know; mine's growing up too fast!)

Color version

Black and White version

I used to think that black and white photos were a piece of cake. Click the "convert to black and white" button on my computer software and I was done, but over the past year, I've come to realize that a black and white photo takes a bit more artistry to make it pop off the screen or print. I've included two examples here:

Converted to Black and White with no adjustments
You may get similar results if you ask a lab to print your photo in sepia or black and white. Result: image has blah skin, clothing, and background. A lot of it just looks gray.

Converted to black and white and edited by me
Much, much better. I adjust levels, contrast, and brightness in the photo in addition to making the conversion to black and white. Result: image is dramatic, brighter, and alive.

Jul 20, 2009

11 x 14 Storyboard: Special Edit

Here's the special edit from my recent shoot with a family at the Smith Plantation grounds in Roswell. Originally, my clients and I had planned on a spot color of their cute girl in her swim gear (below), but I felt the photo was at its best as a full color image.

So, I suggested a storyboard using some of the awesome group photos we got. Since I knew black and white was mom's favorite, I used the best family shot and then made black and white conversions of three more photos for the "3-peat" row of boxes. The finished product is a gorgeous 11 x 14 suitable for framing.

Storyboards are new for me as a special edit. (Jacob designed the Baby Parts collage we did last year.) But design is not new to me. I based this special edit on some of the guiding principles of design: dominance, white space, contrast, and simplicity. My dad would be so proud! (He's a professor of graphic design at South Dakota State University.) I especially love the subtle detail in the borders: elegant but subtle so as to not draw away from the focus of the entire piece.

I am so excited to offer these one-of-a-kind designs as part of my packages. I'm looking forward to more opportunities for custom designs (business cards, photo collages, Christmas cards . . . )

Jul 6, 2009

More Historic Roswell: Family Portrait Session

I love Roswell. I'm a sucker for old buildings and historic sites (especially mills) and Roswell is full of them. For this shoot, we chose the Smith Plantation Home in Roswell, a beautiful location I've scouted out before but haven't ever had a chance to use on a shoot.

Mom said she loves black and white images, so besides including more black and white images as part of their selection, I have fun plans for their special edit . . . and am thinking black and white will be a big part of it. Mom also wanted a breastfeeding portrait, so we made sure we did that. Love that little tear! Dad was a wonder at getting his little girl to laugh for the camera (even though she got very tired of the shoot about halfway through). And of course, there's that darling toddler who was most happy climbing up the ladder on one of sides of the houses! Thanks, guys. It was hard work, but I think the work paid off!