Not Your Grandmother’s Wall Portraits {Interior Design Photographer}

Too many of us think that displaying portraits on our walls will make our home “look like Grandma’s house”.  Honestly, this is NOT TRUE!  There are a few tricks to prevent that “look”.  The number one trick or rule is….8×10 is NOT a wall portrait.  If you hang one or many 8×10’s on a wall in an unorganized and unfashionable way…then you risk having your home look “old fashioned”.  Secondly, choose portraits that are artsy and in a similar color palate to each other.  I can help design a display for your home!  It is not a well known fact that prior to becoming a professional photographer, I graduated from  Interior Design School…A little BONUS you get with me!  Please let me know PRIOR to your session that you are interested in this option so we can plan your shoot accordingly.  We also have a program that can take a photo of your existing wall space and digitally display your portraits in various arrangements and sizes until you are happy with the look!   Contact me today and I will be happy to discuss your ideas, wants and needs!  You’d be surprised what amazing artwork photographs of your loved ones can make in your home!  It NEVER goes out of style.  It’s the best kind of artwork… artwork that MATTERS.

wall portrait photographer Not Your Grandmothers Wall Portraits {Interior Design Photographer}

The above is a canvas wall collage I just finished in my home.  Yes, I live in Ohio…But a girl can make believe, right?

display wall portraits Not Your Grandmothers Wall Portraits {Interior Design Photographer}

My studio manager, Brandi, ordered this display before she came to work with me.

wall portrait ideas Not Your Grandmothers Wall Portraits {Interior Design Photographer}

Client.

My Photography Gear and other related stuff….

I often get e-mails with questions from other photographers, so I’ve posted some of the more frequently asked questions here:

What Equipment do you shoot with.  What Equipment would you recommend to a photographer just starting out.

What’s MOST important?? The glass (lens).  Invest MORE in your lenses than in your camera body.   It is a good idea to get a zoom lens that goes down to f/2.8.  Always get your equipment from a reputable dealer.  I use B & H photo. Learn from my mistakes! – DON’T buy from ebay or used….UNLESS you KNOW the person you are buying from and trust them.

my photography gear My Photography Gear and other related stuff....

Here is a list of my equipment ;

Camera Bodies                                                                                                             

Lenses                                                                                                                                

 

Miscellaneous                                                                                                                  

What actions do you use to post process your images.                                                 I use Lightroom to organize and catalog my images and Photoshop CS5 for most editing.     I mostly use a combination of the Florabella actions – Totally Rad Actions and OnOne Software, along with other actions I’ve created. I never really do the same exact thing to an image, and I usually never use an action to its full strength.

Do you offer mentoring sessions?                                                                                    At this time, we do offer one on one personal mentoring sessions where we discuss all aspects of running a photography business, including photography and editing skills,     Half day and full day sessions include a sample photo shoot with a couple and all shoots include notes and sample business forms. Please contact us for more information on pricing and what is included in a half or full day session.

Selling Digital Images….YES, I Caved! {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

There has been a lot of controversy over the past few years among professional photographers as to whether to sell digital image files or prints.  A digital photo isn’t just a bunch of pixels.  It’s the photographers creation, vision and art.  We plan it, We capture it, and edit it, until it looks exactly the way we want it.  We would be reluctant to show an unfinished proof to a customer, just as a chef would be loathe to serve a half-cooked meal to a diner.

Images on disc photographer Selling Digital Images....YES, I Caved! {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

 

I have stood firmly on my stance to NOT sell the digital files for many reasons that may not be as obvious to my clients.  So here are a few;

1. Printing.  Where will my clients get prints made?  A good lab, or a horrible cheap one?  A good home printer, or an even more horrible cheap one? There is a HUGE difference in printers and labs.  Walgreens is NOT the place to have your images printed.

2. Size.  Will they choose a print size that’s appropriate to the file size and quality? If you try to print an 16×20 out of a 4×6, you will loose tons of resolution and the print will look pixelated and blurry.

3. Cropping.  If your chosen print size requires cropping (eg 8×10) will they honor your composition?  Will they even bother to check the cropping before pressing “print”?  If you print an 8×10 out of a file sized at a 4×6, someones head is GOING to get cut off!

4. Sharpening.  Will the sharpening you applied to the file be appropriate to their chosen print method and size?  Again, this can make an image look fuzzy or too pixelated.

5. Uncle Joe.  This is the worst one.  It mightn’t be Uncle Joe, of course, it might be cousin Joe, or buddy Joe, or Aunt Josephine.  Somebody with an uncalibrated screen, a dodgy copy of Photoshop, and an enthusiasm to “fix” your images for your customer before they print them.  Be very afraid of Uncle Joe.

6. Will your grandchildren be upset with you? Please refer to an earlier blog here.

Any of the above factors could result in your photo hanging on your customer’s wall looking ghastly. When that happens, the photographer may lose referrals due to the poor quality of the print.

Is it all worth it?  I’m not sure.  BUT, my clients are begging for it! So I have thought long and hard as to HOW to make this beneficial for both my clients and myself.

As a trial for the remainder of 2012, here is what I can up with for Family & Children sessions (high school seniors excluded)

  • 10 Images on disc       $450
  • 20 images on disc       $650
  • ALL images on disc      $750
  • individual image          $  90
  • Images are mid res with copyright release to print up to 11×14
  • My preference is that you print through MPix.com -NOT a pro lab, but better quality than WalMart.

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.

Wedding Day! {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

As most of you know, I don’t choose to do a lot of wedding day photography. It’s not that I don’t enjoy photographing weddings, because I do. It’s more because it is VERY time consuming and exhausting; in addition to the fact that I have an 11 year old son and I don’t want to book EVERY saturday with a wedding. But when I do shoot a wedding…it is magical. This quick video that I am sharing is a family members wedding and it was AMAZING! I hope you enjoy!

 

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}

 

 

Mini Portrait Session Specials for 2012

As promised, here it is!!!  The Mini Portrait Session Specials for 2012.  I am so excited for these.  They will be tons of fun and will prove to produce some of your favorite portraits from 2012!  Some of my absolute favs are Ties & Tutus, Moms Night Out (I CAN’T wait for the one), Vintage Fields, Dance Recital Costumes and Christmas in September (get your holiday cards done)!  Also, a portion of the proceeds from the Dog Days of Summer will go to the CHA Animal Shelter in Columbus.  Oh yeah and the Halloween Special too.  A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to Safe Kids of Central Ohio – OK…so basically ALL OF THEM!

I know its hard for a lot of you to have your portraits taken as often as you may like and this gives you an opportunity to do that!  It’s also a way for me to see you guys more often….cuz I miss you and love seeing you and your family!  These sessions only take 30 minutes and there is a special price package for these mini’s.  Email or call Brandi or myself and we will get the price list to you.

Spirit.2012.Specials1 Mini Portrait Session Specials for 2012

 

Spirit.Specials.2012.Dates  Mini Portrait Session Specials for 2012

 

Mini Potrait Session Pricing Mini Portrait Session Specials for 2012

 

 

 

 

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.

final.portrait.a1 300x261 Photographers Tricks   {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

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.

set 300x199 Photographers Tricks   {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

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.

newborn.demo  300x199 Photographers Tricks   {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

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!

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.

Holiday Card Special – Columbus Ohio Family Photographer

For a limited time…until October 5th…I am running a Holiday special! (aren’t all specials for a limited time?)

It is so great to have this part of the Holiday “rush to-do list” done and ready to mail….and you get a savings to boot!

Anyway, heres the deal; book and complete your session before October 5th and receive;

1 hour outdoor session for up to 6 people

50-  4×8 custom holidays cards & envelopes

1 – 8×10 Portait

1 – 5×7 Portrait

$150  ($49 savings)

WOW –  what a deal!

PS – Found a great website for EVERYTHING Christmas!  Check it out!  www.santasearch.orgsantascoming.2011 Holiday Card Special   Columbus Ohio Family Photographer

RedOrnaments inside.web  Holiday Card Special   Columbus Ohio Family Photographer