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 actionsTotally 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.

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!

 

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!

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

2012 Senior Session Special ~ Columbus Ohio Photographer

2012.senior.discount 2012 Senior Session Special ~ Columbus Ohio Photographer

Wow, we have been really busy with our 2012 Senior Spirit Models this past month! If you don’t know one of the models personally, check their pics out on Facebook; message them and I am sure they would LOVE to get one of their discount cards to you! If not, I have worked up a session discount schedule for any 2012 high school senior. These early sessions book up quickly, so give us a call to discuss your dream senior portrait session. 2012 is your year! Make sure to get the pictures YOU want ~ Come visit our studio for a consultation and how we can make you be a model for day and get the best portraits and products. Consultations are free so make an appointment – 614.332.7915 or contact@spiritphotographers.com

Family Portrait Clothing Ideas – April Edition- Columbus Photographer

Wearing the wrong colors in a family portrait can be haunting. Those photos are usually found years later in a forgotten closet, and instead of reminding you of the good times in your family’s history, they only point out the wardrobe mistakes of your past. Choosing the right colors can make your family portrait the treasure it was meant to be. We suggest wearing clothes from the same color palette but aren’t exactly the same to keep your family portrait from looking too “matchy-matchy.” Dressing your family in colors that blend keeps the focus of the photo on the family rather than their outfits. When dressing in the same color palette, make sure there is a contrast between bottoms and top. If everyone wore khaki pants with khaki tops, your photo would be a sea of khaki and your family portrait would not very interesting. In addition to blending your colors, try to wear clothing that expresses each family members personal style. This will add interest and personality to your family portraits! If you have questions about your portrait session, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss it further! Take Care & Happy Spring! Stacy

what to wear V2Issue3 2011 Family Portrait Clothing Ideas   April Edition  Columbus Photographer

Family Portrait Clothing Suggestions

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.

Newborn Baby Portraits – FREE Session – Columbus, Ohio Photographer

FREE PORTRAIT SESSION!  If you bring your newborn into Spirit Photographers Studio within the first 10 days of your baby’s birth, you will receive a FREE session!  During the first 2 weeks of life is the BEST time to get those sleepy, bundles.  After this time, babies tend to S T R E T C H out and don’t stay in the fetal position as easily.  Moms, I know you are tired and don’t have the energy to come to a portrait session,but I assure you that you will cherish these images for a lifetime! We will do all the work and you can just sit nearby and relax! We’ve got this! This is the time to remember, time goes sooo fast! (believe me, mine’s almost 11!) and you will forget just how tiny, wrinkly and precious they were at this newborn stage. PS to grandmas, aunts, sisters and friends, we also have Gift Certificates that make GREAT shower gifts!  Visit my Columbus Ohio Photographer main site.