Back in 2018, before social distancing was a thing, I attended an in-person class and shoot-out sponsored by Color Inc. This was a sequel to the shoot-out I blogged about here. For this one, the theme was The Greatest Showman. Chubby Cheek Photography and Sally Kate Photography again performed their magic and made this event so much fun. I highly recommend attending something like this when life gets back to normal.
Once upon time, pre-Covid, the world was able to get together and do fun things like styled shoot-outs and in-person classes. Since that isn’t happening right now, I thought that I’d share some of my faves from way back in the spring of 2017.
This particular shoot-out/class was sponsored by Color Inc. (who by the way is a fabulous print lab that is very customer focus based). The class featured Chubby Cheek Photography and Sally Kate Photography. These two ladies are masters in the styled children genre. It was so fun to see their ideas come to life and have the opportunity to shoot these nursery rhyme scenes. And you may notice a familiar little model in some of these photos as well…
I am half right brained-half left brained. Because of this, I tend to use an analytical approach to a lot of what I do, photography included. I use my art as my escape from the mundane and therefore love to interject liveliness in my photos. Today I’m going to give some insight into the “formula” that I use to bring my photos to life.
The first variable in the formula is COLOR. Entire books have been written on color theory, but in general, I love to use color to convey mood. While I tend to gravitate toward “punchy,” bright, high-contrast colors to convey joy, energy, and vibrancy, as in the county fair photo, I love all colors and use them in various ways. Using analogous colors, such as the soft turquoise found at the beach, conveys a since of calm and peace. The use of red and green complementary colors in the strawberry farm photo bring focus to the bucket and make it appear almost 3D.
The second variable is LENS CHOICE. I’m a self-proclaimed photography junky. I own a lot of gear. But my favorite lenses that make you feel like you are there and actually present in the moment are wide angle lenses such as my 24-70mm or 15mm fisheye. Wide lenses are perfect for getting in close. When used close to your subject you can create distortion that provides a sense of movement. Wide angle lenses also have the ability to capture dramatic skies. Wide dramatic skies give photos a sense of space and pull you into the frame and through the photo.
A lensbaby is another lens option that can bring life into a photo. The creative focus can help to zoom in on the motion of the scene.
The third variable is PERSPECTIVE. The angle at which you shoot or tilt the camera can add motion and depth to a photo. Shooting through objects, shooting from below, or shooting from above all add a unique perspective that makes the viewer feel like they were present in the experience.
Extra tip: Afraid to get your nice camera dirty or wet? Try a Go Pro. It’s perfect for burying in the sand or dunking underwater for that unique perspective.
The final variable in the formula is TRICKS OF THE TRADE. Use your tools (camera, software, props, clothing, environment) to your advantage. Set a slow shutter speed on your camera and pan along with a moving subject to create motion. Applying lens corrections in post to a fisheye lens will create a pulling effect on the photo. Embrace a windy day and wear flowy fabrics to incorporate movement. And never underestimate the magic and life that childhood play will bring to an image. Jumping, twirling, cartwheels, and racing all add movement and playfulness to photos.
Last but not least… More important than any formula, have fun! If you are having fun and your subjects are having fun, your photos will automatically come to life.
Hi friends! Long time no see write. I’m going to try to be better about keeping up with this little blog. I know I’ve said that before, maybe I’ll mean it this time.
I figured it might be a good idea to do a “how it all started” post to get back into the swing of things. I’m often asked how I got started in photography and how I learned to use my camera, so here goes.
My love for photography started as far back as I can remember: setting up photoshoots with my Cabbage Patch dolls and my 110 camera. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I was motivated to learn the art of photography. Having an engineering degree, I assured myself that I could certainly figure out a camera. And so I did, and my love of photography was sent on an exponential path.
I started out by reading books and doing research online. I took a local photography class and watched a lot of online tutorials. Soon, as luck would have it, I found out that a local photographer wanted to start teaching moms how to use their camera. Perfect! Sign me up! I also signed up for one on one mentoring with another photographer whose style I identified with and from that point forward everything “clicked” for me.
After that, its been a whirlwind of a journey. I’ve taken tons of online courses from Clickin’ Moms, Milky Way, Chic Critique, Chubby Cheek Photography, Plural Site, and others that I’m surely forgetting. I love to learn and grow, so I’m always looking for the next class to click my photography up a notch.
In 2017, I decided to prepare a portfolio submission to apply to become a Click Pro Master with Clickin Moms. I studied their grading rubric and practiced all categories from light, composition, color, etc. Finally, at the very beginnning of 2018 I took a leap of faith and applied. And guess what….I was accepted!! Excited would be an understatement. This has given me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with many other artists that are always willing to share their talents and knowledge.
I’ve more recently decided to offer a few small courses through Hellostoryteller. If you are interested in those or any tutorials I have written for Clickin Moms see this page.
So there you have it! That’s my story. Other than that…I practice. I shoot a lot. All the time really. I’m always learning and striving to get better.