Digging through some old photographs for Reuben’s family history project, I came across these treasures from the past. Photographs from almost 70 years ago when I wasn’t even born. It makes me realize how valuable photographs are… they connect us to an era that would have otherwise been unknown or forgotten. How precious is that?!
Almost 20 years ago, we lost a large part of our family photo albums in floods that hit our city. When the waters receded, we managed to salvage some of them, and painstakingly cleaned, dried and saved a few. Of all the things destroyed in the floods, it is the photos we lost that we miss the most even today.
Brings home the point all over again, that you can never put a value on moments captured in time and you can only capture them with a camera.
Look what I found while doing some spring cleanup! Some product shoots I did for a friend a while ago. It was such a fun experience taking her around town finding cool places for the shoot, coordinating outfits, posing, finding the most flattering angles, showcasing the product as a fashion statement. Having a gorgeous model and stylish products made it all the more exciting. There are so many fun places around Beaverton and Hillsboro. Must say, I’m quite proud of some of these images even now.
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
This is one of my favorite quotes that describes what I feel makes every photographer unique. Photography allows us the amazing ability to share with others our unique ‘ways of seeing’ and experiencing life. It makes you slow down and notice things that usually go unnoticed in our ever-so-busy life.
Here are some fun things I’ve seen in seemingly mundane places. Do you see what I see?
Can you guess where I saw this smiley looking at me?
It is also interesting how hard it is to ‘un-see’ something you’ve seen. This last image won a merit in the Oregon Professional Photographers Association’ image competition. But it almost didn’t make it because what was obvious to me (the two faces in a parting kiss), was not quite seen by all the judges! Glad they eventually did! 🙂 Did you?!
So I got a little adventurous and tried out something totally different… in terms of style and editing. The project- a glamour style self portrait. It was fun trying out something new! Being on the other side of the camera every once in a while also gives me a better idea of what my clients experience when they are in the hot seat!
The recipe for an image like this? Natural light, a reflector, tripod, camera, remote, a handy-dandy hair dryer for some wind-action and some antics! It was fun! For anyone watching, it would have been fun-ny :D. You should all try it! Or call me, and we can have a blast!
My usual editing style is pretty simple, clean, natural. This time I played around with some textures and blending modes in Photoshop. Must say I’m quite pleased with the results.
Want to try taking a self-portrait? While there are a million different creative ways you could take a self-portrait, if you want to try something like what I’ve done here, these tips may help you:
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION:
If you’re doing this indoors, find a window or door in your home with good natural light coming through.
Make sure your background is clutter free.
When posing, just remember to stand a few feet away from the wall to get a slightly soft, blurry background. You can also avoid dealing with shadows falling on them.
2. THE LOGISTICS:
A camera (duh!). Any camera . I used a Nikon D610 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G lens.
A tripod if you have one, or something sturdy to prop your camera on. You should be able to keep the camera at eye level or slightly above eye level.
A white foam core or even a cardboard wrapped with white paper can serve as a reflector. I used a reflector, but you could use any of the substitutes. Using a reflector can help fill in some shadows on the side facing away from the light source.
Having a remote (I used one) makes it convenient to click while posing and saves you some of the running back and forth to use the camera timer. If you don’t have one, the timer on your camera will do just fine.
The biggest challenge with self portraits is to get the focus spot on. The easiest way to get this right would be to place an object on the spot where you plan on standing. Compose your shot and focus your lens on the object. Now change your lens setting to manual. This ensures that the focus remains on the object, and the camera does not try to refocus later when you click. Now take your position in the exact spot where you placed the object. If you’re using a reflector, place it facing the light and move it slowly until light is reflected on the stand-in object.
If you feel really adventurous, and want to get the blown hair look, try holding a hair dryer (better still, clip it to your tripod!) or place a fan for some wind action!
Most of us are intimidated by the camera and don’t know what to do with ourselves in front of that lens. RELAX! Your mouth, your shoulders, your whole body! You don’t have to force a smile to get a great portrait. Look at the lens like you would look into the eyes of a person you like. (LOL! I know that sounds weird. But it will change your expression! Or make you laugh. Which is good, you’ll relax!)
Do NOT tuck in that chin. Caution! The dreaded double chin! Most of us do it without even realizing. Instead, lift your chin up, forward and down just a centimeter. Feels odd, but looks great! 🙂
Posing at a slight angle to the camera is almost always flattering. Ladies, shift your weight to one leg, the leg that is away from the camera. Pivot your hips so they are not square to the camera. Have fun and try different angles.
There! Those are some basic tips. If you do take some self portraits, please post them here! I would love to see what you come up with! Got questions? Ask me!
Leaving you with some unseen personal images from 2015. Thank you for coming along on this journey, for the visits, the comments, shares, the referrals. Looking forward to more adventures in 2016. Happy New Year!
I am thrilled to share the images created for this beautiful family. The Schworers were in Portland visiting mom and dad, and attending a friend’s wedding, yet made time for this session booked way back in May. Every moment captured in these photographs speaks of the love that binds this beautiful family. These images are a visual testimony to the blessing Little Miss O is … a prayer answered so beautifully. They were such a delight to photograph! And what a happy little trooper Miss O was!
We started out by quickly going over some of the sketches I had drawn of my vision for this session. A vision that spurred from all the little stories and details I gathered through our pre-shoot consultation.
It was a gorgeous Saturday morning, and to my surprise, the light just kept getting strangely beautiful as the morning progressed. The distinct smell of smoke that soon filled the air , clarified the reason for this strange light… the unfortunate forest fires raging through parts of Washington and Oregon. Worked in our favor though!
Walking on Daddy’s feet
How big is Olivia?
Daddy’s little girl
Grandpa’s little girl
A Regal Moment
Here’s a little princess who loves to feel the earth beneath her feet! Really, she will throw a fit if you try to get her into any kind of footwear! I mean, how adorable is that! ❤ Little Miss O, you totally stole my heart! This is one of those sessions that leaves me satisfied and proud of what I do. I can’t wait to see these images adorn the walls of their homes.
Here’s a little behind the scenes shot…thanks to my client!