Last weekend I got to photograph the Mullens for their annual Christmas card. They have been rebuilding their house for the last past year, so they wanted to incorporate their construction site into their family photo. I loved the idea! Although, sometimes it was hard to keep up with their 7 year old daughter, Veronica, who has been taking gymnastics since she was a toddler, and quite at home swinging around the scaffolding. Luckily, I knew what they wanted before I arrived, and I was wearing jeans. Although my shoes could have been better! I have since had the idea to go buy myself a nice pair of black sneakers. Yes, it's important to dress nice for a photo shoot, but you also need to be ready for serious action!
Last weekend I photographed the Metzlers. This was the second time, the first time being in 2009. It was so fun doing it again, since the last time I photographed the little ones, their son was just a baby! And their daughter still had her chubby little toddler cheeks, not the lanky little girl she is now.
Definitely a favorite thing of photography is getting to connect with so many great people! I love it!
Last week I photographed Zach and Emily and their mom, Suzie. They were a lot of fun to shoot, and I think a lot of good photos came out of working with them. It was hard to choose photos to put up! But I added quite a few to my website.
So, I spent the weekend redoing the website. It was a pretty big make-over. Besides changing the photo layout on the portfolio pages, adding new photos, I added a couple new sections under "Little People," and took down the old section of "Odds and Ends." Even though I've taken a ton of photos in my life that I really love, I realize they don't really fit into a commercial website focused on portraits. Oh well, I guess that's where the blog can come in handy, where I put the photos that don't fit anywhere else.
My old peace rally photos can still be seen on my site under Snapshots. Photos from Ostrich Land? I guess this blog post will be it...
So, after my last blog post, I read the manual for my Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight Flash when I went to bed that night. Yes, I should have done that sooner! And since it was a gift and I didn't buy it, I didn't even realize it came with fun accessories like gels and stuff! Yes, I had opened the box, but obviously I didn't dig very deeply.
Yesterday I hosted my daughter's weekly playgroup, and took the opportunity to play with the flash a bit. It was all in direct sunlight, and with none of the accessories. But reading the manual did help me understand things a bit better. (It's funny how that happens). So, I love it! Even in the direct sun just using it as a fill flash, I thought it created better photos. I know most photographers that have an artier, non-commercial edge to them, "flash" is like a bad word, something that is only used by amateurs or the paparrazzi, creating flat boring photos. But I guess if you know what you are doing, you can make it work for you. I guess I'm going for something more commercial, anyway, but I still value my fine art background and hope that sensibility doesn't completely disappear!
I was also happy because I think I got some good close-up smiling shots of my daughter, Violet. I have ten million photos of her, but recently I realized I didn't have nice close-up smiling shots with eye contact! What parent doesn't want that? She likes to pose, but if I ask her to smile at the camera, she gives me a God awful grimace, or flat out ignores me. So, yesterday when she was playing on her swing, swinging towards the camera, I just started yelling out, "Elmo!" I don't know why I thought of doing that, but oddly enough I got the results I wanted! With every "Elmo" yelled out she enthusiastically gave me a big smile. If that is something I could pick up in a photography book, it is something I haven't come across yet. So it was a good lesson!
The photo below is an experiment with Photoshop. I realize Photoshop is the new darkroom. I used to feel like using Adobe Photoshop was cheating, but hey, how many hours did I used to spend in the darkroom dodging photographs, reprinting them a million times with different exposures and color variations getting everything just right? I used to think Adobe Photoshop was too expensive (although I've always had it and been a slave to it for other purposes), but I guess in the long run it's cheaper than using a darkroom. I still kind of grieve over the loss of the darkroom, but I'm open to adapting..