Aug 28, 2014

1st Place! Georgia School of Professional Photography Print Competition

I'm in the North Georgia mountains at a week-long photography boot camp called "Georgia School" put on by the Georgia Professional Photographers Association. It's been such an incredible week, though it didn't start out so great--car trouble, a spider bite, and a graphic design deadline threatened to make this week a rough one--but the good has definitely outweighed the bad. Some of my favorite memories have included climbing to the top of the mountain to photograph the sunrise, meeting and learning from some of the nation's best photographers, and becoming close friends with others in my profession.Tonight was the icing on the cake! My image, "Leading the Flock," won 1st place in the print competition!

This image is a composite piece I created in Photoshop, using techniques our instructor has been demonstrating. My teacher is Richard Sturdevant, one of the world's leading photography composite artists. My love of art, story, painting, and photography has all made it into this image. Here are just a few of the techniques I've learned from Richard.  
  • Create dimension by building layers in color, imagery, and story 
  • Build a whole scene from the background to the middle ground to the foreground so your image doesn't look flat, but has depth
  • Tilt objects to give them the illusion of motion
  • Constantly reassess the image's color, composition, and scale as you build it
  • Add painterly effects to blend borders, soften edges, and make a piece come "alive"
  • Create contrast with hand-drawn shadows and highlights
  • Trust your instincts about your art and go for it!
And here's a few "Easter eggs" I included in the image: one bird (upper left behind the clouds) is heading the wrong way--there's always at least one of them, right? That little boy peeking over the edge of the bus seat is my son, Peter. I took the photo of the bus here at Georgia School, but I had an image of Peter on his bus from the first day of school, so it was perfect! (Thank you to fellow photographer Judy Kennamer for the idea!)

I had so much fun making this image; it's definitely something I'm excited to incorporate my regular work with clients. Meanwhile, if you are interested in purchasing this piece for your home, contact me, I'd be happy to make you a beautiful print!

Aug 11, 2014

First Day of School | Getting great smiles out of your own kids!

Yay! School has started. Like most other moms here (at least by what I've seen on Facebook), I have to take the "first day of school" holding the sign/kid in a backpack picture. However, this time, I thought I'd do at least one good portrait of my kiddo before he got on the bus.

Now, here's the trick: make it a game. My son knows that when the camera comes out, silly/crazy/funny pictures are OKAY! If he wants me to take it, I shoot it, and boy, does that get the smiles going. Then, once we've had some fun, the beautiful smiley pictures are easy because he feels happy. The top portrait was picture #20. I have to admit though, those other ones are keepers too!

Contact me if you are interested in learning more tips about photographing your kids. I teach photography workshops and offer mentoring to cool moms and dads like you who want to learn!