Digital Photography – the good, the bad and the ugly!

Will Your Grandchildren Be Upset With You?   Author: Fred Molesworth, Salem, Oregon

I’m willing to bet your grandchildren will be upset with you. Here’s why. Imagine, 50 years from now, as your grandchildren or great grandchildren are going through the boxes in the attic. They are enthralled with the treasures and keepsakes they find and how they tie into the story of your life. Amongst all the old items, they find a number of round silver objects. Some have writing on them, some are blank, but they resemble some kind of a small platter about 4? across, with a hole in the middle. Puzzled, they take them to their parents. “What are these, Mom?” they ask. “Oh, I think those are all of grandma’s photographs. Yep, here’s one labeled ‘My Wedding’. Here’s some more labeled ‘Family Photos,’ and some more labeled ‘Vacations’.” “How do we look at them?” they ask. “Well, I’m not sure we can. First of all, no one has the device that reads these anymore. Besides that, I doubt after all these years that they’re any good anymore. Being stored in the attic, the heat and cold probably ruined them.” The kids are very disappointed. Nowhere amongst all the treasures are any actual prints. All that history is lost. Their connection with the past and all the wonderful stories that might have gone along with all those photographs are gone as well. Along with all the wonders of our digital age come some significant problems that most people have never thought of.

Child Photographer 681x1024 Digital Photography   the good, the bad and the ugly!Did you know that over 90% of all images taken on today’s digital cameras are NEVER PRINTED? I’m guilty of that myself. I have gigabytes of personal photographs that have never been seen other than on a computer screen. In the old days, film went to the lab and everything that was printable was printed. Even if it was a bad photograph, it still was a hard copy, a part of your family history and it had permanence. Even if they never went in an album, they at least went into a box, to be discovered as treasures years later. The same problem exists in professional portrait studios today. Many people are simply asking for the images on CD. “I’ll print them later” or “I’ll design my own wedding album” are common phrases. Usually this is done with the thought that they’ll save some money by doing it themselves. But you know what? Most never make it into any kind of an album. Life gets busy and 20 years later they’ll be looking for some way to read those disks. I bring this up only to point out the importance of what we, as a professional studio do. Our job is not just to create the images, to create wonderful story telling photographs about the people in front of our camera; it’s to create a final product, whether it be a professionally retouched and printed single image, a family heirloom wall portrait, or an incredible storybook album using a collection of the images that were created. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a wedding, a newborn baby, a senior or a family. Having the final product created for you is important. To do less is to leave the job half done and to short change the customer. So, if you’re asked for a disk with all the images “so I can print them later”, that’s fine, just make sure your customers understand that if not printed, the conversation their grandchildren will want to have about their family history may never be able to happen.

Fred Molesworth In addition to running a full time portrait studio in Salem Oregon, Fred Molesworth is a small business teacher and advisor, and the author of the Portrait Studio Marketing blog (www.portraitstudiomarketing.com). He’s also a nationally known business and marketing speaker in the portrait industry, and past president of the Professional Photographers of Oregon.

What to Wear for Family Portraits via Pinterest {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

I have to admit, I have a new love in my life….PINTEREST!  If you are not familiar with Pinterest, you REALLY  need to check it out.  If you don’t have an account yet request an invite from pinterest.com or a friend like me (contact me with your email address and I’ll send you an invite).

A person can have multiple boards, each with multiple pins. Each pin is a saved image that links to the original webpage showing the image, and a description set by the person who pinned it. Pins are organized by boards – a simple way to connect pins together under a single topic or theme.  If you are like me, I’ll see something I love and then FORGET where I saw it and search for hours to find it again.  Pinterest SOLVES that problem.  I use interest for inspiration, bookmarking, sharing and organization…as well as some web marketing for my business.

Anywho, I have created a board that I think might be helpful to my clients. Its the number one question I get asked before a photoshoot….WHAT DO WE WEAR??  Well now you can go to my board and gets some ideas and inspiration.  You can find it here http://pinterest.com/spiritphotog/what-to-wear/  .   If you find other ideas, feel free to pin to this board.  I have included a “pin” from the board below.  I hope you guys find this helpful for future portrait sessions.  Happy Hump Day!

Screen Shot 2012 01 25 at 9.44.15 AM What to Wear for Family Portraits via Pinterest {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

 

 

Photographer’s Tricks – {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

I am going to show you one of the tricks photographers use to get the most unbelievable shots.  It’s photoshop magic!  Many of todays most popular portrait poses look almost too good to be true!  Most of the time they are!!  I am going to show you step by step how to get amazing portraits with photoshop.  This is the final image.

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I don’t have images of the first few steps in this process, but I will tell you that my assistant went into the woods and drug this LIMB into the studio!  We cleaned it up and let it dry for a few days.  In the meantime we went to Hobby Lobby and picked out some silk flower bunches that we liked. When we got back to the studio, Brandi (my creative studio manager) proceeded to patiently plucked off the silk flowers and glue gunned them to this branch hanging out in our camera room!  After that we were ready to shoot!!

So now for the fun stuff!  We started by taking a photo of the limb – camera on tripod to keep the same distance and height, etc.  The image below is what we used as the base image.

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Next we moved in a giant bean bag and the baby!  you can see what we got in the next photograph.  Again, camera in same location, same lighting, same white balance, etc.

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WOW!  Lots of stuff to clone!!  NO NO, its much easier than that!  In the next photo you will see how I used the lasso tool to circle the baby and a bit of the surrounding area. Then switch to the selection too and drag the part you have circled with the lasso onto the base image. as in the following photo.

Screen Shot 2011 12 29 at 4.28.31 PM Photographers Tricks   {Columbus Ohio Photographer}Screen Shot 2011 12 29 at 4.29.57 PM 300x202 Photographers Tricks   {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

As you can see the baby is too large for the background image. Simply hit the shortcut “ctl/cmd T” on your keyboard and resize the layer to fit nicely into your background photo. Then just use your erase tool on soft edges to take away the excess around the baby until it all blends nicely.  Flatten your image and VOILA!  Baby hanging in a tree!!  I save my limb/background image in case I want to use again- I won’t have to repeat that step.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions!  Happy Photoshop-ing!

What to wear for family photo shoot

As a photographer, the number one question I get is on the topic of what to wear to their photo shoot. When booking a portrait session I think it is almost always a given that the client is going to ask for suggestions on what to wear. I struggled with this question when I was first starting out. My clients would come dressed in matching outfits or in the same color head to toe. These clothing choices do not make for the most visually appealing image.

I knew that I had to change my clients way of thinking when it came to choosing outfits for their portraits. I personally believe that is part of my job to help style a session. This gives my clients another reason to hiring me over going to a chain portrait studio. I always tell them to choose items with good color, texture (ie, knits, ruffles, denim) and accessories. I tell them to think coordinating not matching. I even go as far as offering to come to their homes and dig through their closet with them or tell them to bring a trunk full of options and we can put together outfits on location.

I am guilty of dressing my family in white shirts and khaki pants. I now realize how visually unappealing that is, so I really stress to my families to think coordinating outfits not matching. I tell them to browse their favorite stores websites for new collections and a lot times you will see outfit ideas that coordinate really well together. I honestly think that when you let your clients know that it is OKAY not to have matching outfits it lifts a weight off their shoulders. Now they can look for outfits that fit each family member individual style but tie all the looks together by picking a few select colors to coordinate. Trying to find one color and style that works for every family member is hard! I use to dread picking out family outfits for pictures now it is one of my favorite parts!

what to wear V2Issue9 2011 What to wear for family photo shoot

Special Kids Photography Charity (Columbus Special Needs Photographer)

Special Kids Photography Charity:  After being involved with Now I Lay me Down to Sleep Organization for a few years, I found that this charity was wearing me down!  I decided to take a break for a while and possibly get my photography  skills involved with a different, more upbeat charity.  I happened upon Special Kids Photography of America (SPKA) and it CLICKED!  I ADORE kids!  Any and all kids!  I feel like I have a special gift for patience and the ability to communicated with them on a different level.  This helps them to feel comfortable with me and their surroundings.  Therefore; it seemed like this charity was a perfect fit for me and my photography studio.  Thankfully, SKPA requires an accreditation process for any of its photographers.  I love that the organization doesn’t just take your money and let any photographer “have at it” so to speak.  SKPA requires the photographer to take a workshop, two exams, get written letters form parents with a Special Needs child AND submit images for review and approval BEFORE they will list you as an approved photographer.  As of now, there is only one photographer accredited in all of Ohio and they are WAY north!

LONG story short…..  I will be looking for several Special Needs Children as models to photograph (with or without their families).  If you are reading this and have or know of anyone with a child (any age) that would fit this criteria, please send this info on to them and ask them to call or email me!  I have included som info below on the foundation.  Stay tuned for SKPA images in the future. Thanks so much for your support!

workshop front Special Kids Photography Charity (Columbus Special Needs Photographer)

 

Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA) began operation in 2000. The concept of training photographers to obtain beautiful images of children with special needs was conceived by Heidi Lewis, who experienced resistance and frustration when attempting to obtain a studio portrait of her one-year-old son, Taylor, born with a severe connective tissue disorder. Although she was eventually successful in convincing the photographer to take the picture, “studio stories” from other mothers with similar children made her acutely aware of the need for education and training of professional photographers from a parent’s point of view.

Through generous sponsorship of Pacific Life Foundation and hosting by Epson America, Inc, the first pilot “Discovery Workshop” was debuted the next year at Epson headquarters in Long Beach, CA. Professional photographers, as well as care providers of special children were invited to attend and offer input in order to establish further goals and direction for the organization.
At the same time, the book, Photographing Children with Special Needsresearched and written by SKPA’s co-founder, Karen Dórame, was published by Amherst Media. This valuable resource is used to educate photographers in achieving heart-warming images of children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and a number of other well-known conditions.

In addition to workshops for photographers, much of SKPA’s attention is directed toward policy change in areas where special children might achieve increased visibility and positive acceptance in society. SKPA theorizes that if people can get used to beholding lovely images of children who have disabilities, they will not be so inclined to turn away when they see these beautiful children in person.

Spring Children’s Portrait Special! – Columbus Ohio Photographer

Time to think about your kids Easter Portraits. Spring is almost here! I LOVE spring. it’s my favorite season! Birds chirping, daffodils, tulips, Easter, Easter dresses, kids playing outside…to name a few of my favs. So to celebrate my favorite season, I am having a Children’s Spring Portrait Special! I am doing 20 minute mini sessions with children only on April 4th-8th. Your session will include an (1) 8×10 or (2) 5×7’s and 8 wallets (of your chosen image). All for $65 (save $82) plus get 20% off any additional prints! So bring the kids in their Easter outfits or just something bright and colorful and let’s CELEBRATE SPRING!

Session times for these specials always book up fast, so call and reserve your time! 614-332-7915.

I LOVE Babies! – Columbus Ohio Baby Photographer

I photographed this little man’s brother when he was about this age, 2 1/2 years ago and a few times since.    As a matter of a fact,  big brother’s 1 year portrait is hanging in the studio.  So I was thrilled to get to photograph little man, “N” today!  He was an absolutely perfect portrait model – I didn’t have to chase him at all (Mom was a helpful prop!)….stay tuned for his one year shoot, that will be a different story, I am sure! Visit our website for more information.

Chasing Boys….. – Columbus Ohio Child Photographer

well boy, rather!  I first photographed “C” when he was 3 months old and I didn’t have to chase him at all.  He just laid there looking adorable and was quite content having the flash go off for him.  Well here he is 9 months later at a year old!  It still AMAZES me how quickly children grow and change.  He is more handsome than ever and has a profound love of balls ( “ba” as he calls them)!  Forget the camera – he is OVER that and on to balls, any type or size.  We spent 45 minutes photographing him and he was as pleasant as could be!  Here is a sneak peek at his session! Check out our website for more information.

March Portrait Special – Columbus Ohio Portrait Studio

The CORE Center is the only pregnancy resource center in Delaware County. They provide FREE and confidential services, including pregnancy testing; they give information on life affirming options, such as parenting and adoption; they also supply material aid for expectant families, community referrals and a hand of friendship in a time of need.

In March, Spirit Photographers is supporting the Core Center’s effort by donating our reduced portrait session fee to the Core Center. See more information below and hurry to book your March appointment and support a good cause. See more information about our studio here

corecenterpromo 1024x853 March Portrait Special   Columbus Ohio Portrait Studio

I must not market myself very well….Go figure!!! – Columbus Ohio Photography Studio

Quick story about how well I DON’T promote myself. I was standing at a sports training sessions and chatting with a friend of my son’s grandmother, whom I have known for almost 3 years now. We talk regularly at similar sporting events, birthday parties, etc. Anyhow, she proceeds to tell me how she took her 8 month old granddaughter to get her pictures taken and she wouldn’t smile – not even once! She then said she was taking her BACK to the same place the next morning for a retake or she wasn’t going to buy any. Of course I then asked her (kind of indignantly)’ “well, where did you take her?” Her response was Flash Photography! She looked at me surprised and said why? (Well, again, I OBVIOUSLY do a poor job of promoting myself and my work.) I then ran to my car and grabbed my laptop and proceed to show her my work, told her where my studio was and we arranged to have the granddaughter’s portraits taken the next morning. To my relief…the little girl smiled like CRAZY! We even got a few of her 2 year old brother. It was LOTS of fun, I really enjoyed this session – and learned a valuable lesson in the meantime! Here are some previews! (I even love the pouting one!) Spirit Photographers Main Site

web32 245x300 I must not market myself very well....Go figure!!!   Columbus Ohio Photography Studioweb12 300x210 I must not market myself very well....Go figure!!!   Columbus Ohio Photography Studio

web22 300x246 I must not market myself very well....Go figure!!!   Columbus Ohio Photography Studioweb4 300x210 I must not market myself very well....Go figure!!!   Columbus Ohio Photography Studio