Friday, August 10, 2012
This is the type of portrait that makes me stop and stare. The model is so serene, confident and luminous. (You can click on the picture to see a larger version.)
This was taken as part of a commercial shoot for The Bow Chick. (If you love this hair accessory be sure to check out http://thebowchick.bigcartel.com/product/mint-coral-collection-the-lily-ann - this is such a gorgeous piece in person!) I am also including the before and after photos for this particular image because I have gotten a few questions recently about how I transitioned from a hobbyist to a professional.
How I think about my camera, composition, light and editing:
I crop “in camera” 99% of the time. This means that I frame the image in the camera prior to taking the shot versus cropping the image into something different on my computer. Although I like negative space in my photos I chose to fill the frame with my subject because I wanted the viewer to focus on how the accessory creates a “look”. I could have put the headband on the ground and snapped a photo but it was important to me to create a feeling instead of a two-dimensional image of the flower. I also tend to place my subject with the light behind them so that it creates a soft frame around them. I want my editing to enhance my photo, not fix my photo. It took me a long time to learn how to get the right exposure straight out of the camera and it is always a priority for me. As a novice I struggled with this and I tended to over-edit. (I laugh when I look back at photos that I used to think were awesome.) Any editing I do now is purposeful. Some of my edits are “clean” and some are more artistic. It depends on the client and the intent of the session. Either way, I stick to my aesthetic and produce photographs that make me happy.
Never forget that it is the vision of the photographer, the capacity to take quality photographs and the ability to edit those photographs that ultimately creates an emotion on behalf of the viewer. A great camera does not magically produce great photos. Ever.
The best advice I can give is to shoot constantly, learn your equipment, invest in quality lenses, find a mentor (or two), educate yourself and ask for feedback in a forum comprised of other professionals. There is a wealth of information in the cyber universe – just don’t get overwhelmed. It takes time to improve and I am still learning and growing each and every day.
I genuinely value your support, business and feedback. I hope that this has given any aspiring photographers a start in the right direction – Good luck!