A blog from your portrait photographer showing you behind the scenes images & information from current and past shoots, sharing laughs, inviting you to appreciate other artists, & more. We're going to talk about how I have created some images, my thought process, what I look for, styling, the effect of emotional trials, and combing over why this practice is so important.
Happy Tuesday everybody! Hope
you’re all sitting with your feet in a cold swimming pool free of flesh eating bacteria and
eating ice cream unscathed by a stranger’s tongue.
Shifting gears away from all
of the disgusting events of this summer, today I’m going to chat a little bit
about a photo session I did way back in 2012. It’s funny how you spend years striving towards improving & educating yourself in some way. Somehow, I can look back at the beginning of my photographic journey and still
find products of my past to admire.
Curiosity & confidence just filled my soul and I wanted to try everything. I reached out to
many people to try and make my goals come to life. Just glancing through my old
files, I’m reminded of so many projects from that year, like a baptism, a
calendar for a historic society, some family sessions, a boudoir shoot, newborn
I opened a few old folders to find an image to
talk about today and I went with a senior session I did with this really amazing girl that I got to watch grow up. Paige Castle crossed my path when she was just four years old and totally won my heart over. When she became a senior, she asked me about doing her
pictures. We divided her session up into two different sittings; one on
the farm where she was raised and another at the mall, where there was a bright & colorful carousel, with her very special person, her niece (Kaitlyn Kinard).
Not only does Paige have a
great sense of humor, she’s down to earth, silly, and always smiling, but she
is also very musically gifted. She can sing like an angel and play several different instruments.
One of her favorite instruments at that time was her acoustic guitar. So we incorporated her love of music into some of her session.
She had a lot of patience
waiting on me to set up in the empty packing house on the farm where she lived.
We tried a lot of things like glitter, using the industrial setting,
implementing a tinfoil crown, and we did a few shots with a backdrop, her guitar, and music
sheets. Paige was so much fun to work with.
There are a lot of images I
took that I would never use in portfolio now because I’ve changed a lot in my
skill set and preferences, but honestly there are a few that I still just love.
Here to the left is an example of one such picture. It’s simple. I just put up a couple of
white sheets on a backdrop stand and spread out a ton of music sheets on the
ground for her to lie on. With the simplicity of her set, she really pops.
If I could redo this now, I’d
have someone throwing some music sheets while she sat centered with an
instrument with the light coming in more from a distance, from the side of the
camera. Hmmm…maybe you know some musician in need of a session? Tell them to
But until I get a new client
with similar interests, I’ll opt for revisiting this session with ya’ll. I do
love the image, but I hate that stylistic filter. These days I prefer pictures
to look more natural and, very often, film like. I like rich (not over saturated) colors, a little
grain, & some moody light.
So I took this image back down to bare bones and
started over. To be honest, it took maybe 10 minutes to update it and that
includes waiting on my slow computer to open my software. In Photoshop I
enhanced her eyes, fixed my white balance, edited out a tiny piece of blue
fabric that wasn’t supposed to be seen, smoothed the wrinkles in the white sheet & exported it to different
software for color toning. I added a smidgen of glow to her skin, popped the
highlights a tad, and added a little punch of color & contrast and ta-daaaaa! It's not perfect; the hand being cut off is aggravating me, but I can live with it and love it anyways.
I didn't have to touch her skin, or smooth her hair. Such advantages to being so young and vibrant! And below you have the updated final product. Isn't she absolutely beautiful?