Welcome to my blog! It's a mish mash of fun stories from shoots, questions about client preferences, and other photo randomness.
I visited Philly last month, and my friend there set up for me to take pictures for her job's website. She's a dental assistant. I had only one lens and one flash. We ended up using the back of a poster to create bounce flash for all the photos' lighting. I believe the photos came out very well, if I say so myself! Well I recently visited the website of Dr. Matt only to find my pictures in action. :)
Some of the pictures are not mine, but most are... and I took screen shots of all of mine to post on here. It was really awesome to see my photos used in a professional application. I am very excited!
I had my lighting lesson with the amazing Julia McKim http://www.omahaimageproductions.com/. I hope to be as good as her some day. She's wonderful. These are two of my shots from that day...
I've also done a couple of shoots since where I tried to utilize some of the tips that Julia taught me. So far I've only edited two of them. I find it hard to sit at the computer for too long, which is probably a good sign, but not for my photography!!
This one I shot yesterday. A friend, Kathy, who might look familiar, wants me to take some photos of her hair and makeup skills.
(Below is Kathy, by the way... :D )
Today I joined a local artist on his shoot of Laura. She's so pretty. I think I have a lot of wonderful shots to choose from. This is just one of the shots I liked a lot of. We spent around three hours within a three block radius. There are a ton of nice places to shoot in our Old Market area.
I'm excited for more shoots in the future.
...an epic night of awesomeness. I just need to say...
Firstly... I took my last final for all classes ever for my bachelors degree this morning. Tomorrow I pick up my cap and gown, and Saturday I graduate. I am totally excited.
After that I purchased the frames and prints for the Dreaming Art Show (http://wemustbedreaming.com/preview) that I'm partaking in. I'll have three pieces and a few prints available for sale. Hoorah. We took our framed pieces to the venue for hanging and stayed to help them set up. It was really nice to participate in something constructive that was non-school/work related.
Then, I came home and slept because I only slept a hand full of hours the night before. I woke up three hours later perky and ready for morning. Except... by then it was midnight... so, I decided to watch some videos on manual flash. I have been avoiding learning manual flash because it confused me greatly. I'm still a little confused on it, but I had a big break through, so I'm really proud of myself. I used to use ETTL, but I wanted to be able to control the light better. As soon as she returns from California, I plan on learning about outdoor lighting from the amazing photographer Julia Kuzmenko McKim (http://omahaimageproductions.com/). She suggested that I learn manual flash for our session.
I tried quickly trying to teach myself manual flash by reading the manuals that come with the flash units. Stereo instructions. I did not understand what I was doing. Tonight, I thought... I'm going to try learning via YouTube. YouTube is amazing. I learn best from doing, so I grabbed my flashes and followed along a couple videos. Once I felt like I had the hang of it, I grabbed a stuffed bear my mom made from my great grandma's old blanket. I live alone, so I had no one to pose for me, especially at 1 in the morning. My cat is a terrible model. She's very photo-sensitive, so trying to get her to look at the camera when the flash is active is hell.
I experimented with my settings and added in my second flash until I started to feel comfortable that I knew what I was doing. Then I took my camera off the tripod and go into action.
Yeah, that looks nice. Nice rim light (at least that is what I think it's called... :P ). I'm pretty satisfied.
Work it, Bear, work it!!
I can't remember what happened at this point, but I got this idea. Choie sparked something in me. You see, I have my cat trained to do a couple parlor tricks. I utilize a target stick that she follows around. I grabbed a couple treats (reinforcers) and the target stick and tapped on my dining room table. Choie jumped up and waited for her treat. I grabbed my camera and tried taking a few pictures.
Like I said, she is a terrible model. She would not sit still long enough for me to focus at all.
It turns into, "quick! She's distracted! Snap the picture!" I just hope my camera's autofocus works right.
Finally, she turned her back on me. She wanted a treat, so she stayed in the same spot, but she did not want the bright lights in her eyes. She would only look at the camera if I made a weird noise. While this was humorous, it was annoying as hell. Then it hit me; use the reinforcers to shape her behavior! I started giving her treats for looking toward the camera.
Much better! She turned around and at least looked in the general direction of the light. Choie is such a smart kitty though that only two more treats later...
She was looking straight down the lens. This was amazing. She did this on cue! It may be hard to understand my jargon, but basically this means that she would cooperate whenever I said her name. I am floored. I really won't be able to sleep now. Learned manual flash AND trained my cat to look at the camera when I take pictures of her?! AMAZING.
(Note: I did not retouch any of the photos except for the last one, which probably did not need it, but meh. I'm a photoshop junkie.)
...about this new blogging feature. Now I can share stories from my shoots! I can also share ideas and ask opinions, etc.
I think I've just finished the final touches on Kim's Bonnie and Clyde couple shoot. I still plan on editing a few of my favorites for the site, but I have finished the five that she ordered.
I plan on taking a break from Kim and Brian to edit a few pictures taken a couple days later. I haven't even started editing those yet. One set is from a shoot I was invited to. My good friend, Steve Gray, invited me on this shoot http://stevegray.zenfolio.com/p815802151 where he shot Mary in front of some graffiti. It was a fun and interesting shoot. The snow was in the process of melting, so it was very muddy. Of course, I wore shoes that I wouldn't mind getting muddy -- which also happen to have hardly a tread on the bottom. As we were walking to the cars, I slipped and fell in the mud. :-/
Steve had his photos already retouched and posted online in like a day. I'm just now starting on them. Last week was a busy week for me, and it was second in queue.
Third in queue is a shoot of the viking. I have already shot him a few times, first when we dated and I only had natural light and was using my Canon 40D http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150190555500268&set=a.425902260267.366145.575455267&type=3&theater and the second time for my photojournalism class when I used one off camera flash and my Canon 60D http://elizabethstayer.zenfolio.com/p600983041/h17b629fc#h17b629fc. I decided to employ the use of my second flash, some colored gels, and my wide-angled lens to see if I could make the images pop a bit more this time. I think I accomplished some good shots, but I also think the photos are a bit repetitive. I am a little disappointed in myself for not being able to think outside of my previously established box. Perhaps, when I get the photos edited, you can tell me whether you think I'm right or not.
After I shot the viking, he expressed an idea to me. I had brought along Kathy, http://elizabethstayer.zenfolio.com/p111832192/h14c176b2#h14c176b2, and his idea was to put his furs on her and have her shot like a shaman. I thought this was a great idea, so we made it so. Those are fourth in queue. She only agreed to do it if she could take pictures of me. So, I obliged. http://elizabethstayer.zenfolio.com/p27404907/h38eb53b7#h38eb53b7 I edited my favorite one and posted it here, so I could use it as my artist's bio picture for the art show I am going to be in this May. -- Probably more on that later.
Well, this is an extensive first blog post, so I'm going to finish it now and get back to editing photos!