Tag: Environmental Photography

All the Schroeders!

Last week I was able to spend some time playing with the Schroeder family.  There’s a lot of them:)  We got to do some running, some yoga poses, we played with fake smile masks and spent some time squeaking noses… all in the name of good photography… and expressions.  We had great success!  Check out these faces!  They are pretty great!

Strikers Cup!

Here’s some more of our boys from the Strikers Cup!  They are quite photogenic!  If your child isn’t here he will probably be in the next batch.  I would like to know if you parents run with you tongue sticking out!?  I don’t think I do, but our kids do…  all of them, and I have the proof!  Enjoy the photos, and let me know if you need a larger size of a picture.

Caroline and Scott

Last Tuesday I went to the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake to take Bridals Portraits of the lovely miss Caroline Carr.  Surprising Caroline and her mother Jennifer walked up with her fiance Scott.  So that was a real treat for me!!  I was able to take formal pictures of them together which was so fun!  I had a great time!  The gardens were beautiful!  I always think it’s funny that there is such a pretty place in such a crazy area of downtown Salt Lake!  Oh well, it was very peaceful there, and the weather was gorgeous!  We couldn’t have asked for a better night!  Congrats Caroline and Scott.  I’m so happy you found each other!

Family Portraits

Welcome!!  If you are visiting because you are interested in a family photo session click on the Contact Me link at the top of my website pages, and fill out the form.  I will get back to you as soon as possible.  I hope to meet you soon!  Have a wonderful day!

Flow Posing Workshop

           So I love photography education!  Photography tips, lighting, posing, Photoshop, Marketing… Anything!!  About a few weeks ago (before I went on a fabulous vacation!) I went to a class put on by the Professional Photographers of Utah.  This particular “workshop” focused on “Flow Posing,” and the instructional portion was giving by Scott Snedden, the owner of DIY Photography of Clearfield.

The best way I define flow posing is the art of making the body flow systematically and uniformed.   We watched him take a subject pose them on a chair and take the shot, move the hands and take a shot, move closer to the subject take a shot, more around the subject and take a shot, move the legs and take a shot.  He took full body, 3/4, and close-up, before moving the subject to the ground, or having them stand up.  Than he’d move out (or zoom out) again and start the process over.  Scott said that Flow Posing made it possible for the photographer to get a large amount of different and unique images in a short amount of time.  He emphasized taking enough pictures during a pose to ensure perfect exposure and sharpness, and then moving on to the next pose.   This way you get the pictures you need, pictures your client is happy with, and have a variety of poses for your portfolio.  This was an awesome workshop, and an awesome way to shoot!  Thanks so much PPU and Scott Snedden!

Newman’s Own: Attributes of Portrait Lighting

During the month of June I was able to take some night classes with Utah’s own Dave Newman.  Dave is an amazing internationally recognized photographer.  He has received his Master Photographer degree, and Photographic Craftsman, and is the author of Professional Portrait Lighting.  During our class we studied studio and natural light, and practiced all types of posing for portraits.

I love taking classes and Dave’s was no exception.  There were some points definitely worth sharing, enjoy!  (Warning: the first three paragraphs are a bit technical.  If you aren’t interested in the “how to get there” and you’d rather just arrive, feel free to skip ahead to the star:))

First, let’s look at lighting ratios. If you place a light directly in front of your subject there isn’t a ratio at all. This is flat lighting, or a straightforward exposure. This can come from diffused light from studio strobes, or from a window.  However, if you put the light right in front of your subject, and right in front of your subject is the camera angle, there is no dimension to your subject.  The subject is the same exposure from the forehead to the chin, and ear to ear.  This is fine, however if you are trying to tell the story of an upset or melancholy man for example, making a difficult decision, then this type of lighting is not appropriate.  It has no dimension, and tells a very flat story.

When two lights are used, such as a main and a fill, things get more interesting.  A person gains character, body, and dimension.  When there is an f-stop difference between the main light and the fill light, the light ratio is said to be 2:1. To determine the light ratio, I point the meter at the light source and not the camera. When the readout of the two strobes shows a one f-stop difference (shutter speed isn’t a factor here), such as between f/11 and f/16, then I have 2:1 ratio.

In the portrait studio, the terms 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 or 5:1 express ratio or intensity of one light level compared to another striking the subjects face.  In portraiture most digital printing responds nicely to 3:1 because printers are only able to print 5 stops of light. (I believe our eyes can see somewhere around 24 stops of light, so we need to control the print even though we enjoy so much more.)  A 3:1 ratio simply means three units of light strike the subjects face additively on the highlight side, while only one unit of light strikes the shadow side.  It follows then that the fill light, which strikes both sides, is only one-half the intensity of the key-light.

*  So the real important take away from this for me is to make sure I have ratios in my photography. When I’m out on location and using natural light, turn my subjects so that the light hits one side of the face before the other.  I might need a reflector depending on the time of day, the light falling off too fast, and the story I’m trying tell with the portrait.  I also might need to meter the face so that the ratio is what I want it to be from one side to the other.

The second point from my class I want to touch on is to make sure you have Lateral lighting. This is more obvious in the studio then outside, but on location if using natural light, lateral lighting is as equally important.  Dave suggests using your hand and placing it above your subjects eyes.  If there eyes shade over then there isn’t enough lateral side light coming in to light the eyes and light needs to be added.  This can produce a dead eye look that is very unflattering in a portrait. Lateral lighting is important as it helps to convey shape and form and give dimension.

The last point from my class I wanted to address is what Dave called Stumatura (honestly I’m not sure that’s how you spell it, but that’s what I wrote in my notes,) nevertheless, the meaning is “without borders.”  This refers to the transition from the lighted side of a form to the shadow side, or the 2 to the 1 referring to the ratio.   In his opinion, (and in regards to my style of shooting, I tend to agree) there should be a smooth transition from light to shadow, and not a rigid line.  Many photographers work hard to produce a natural, and comfortable look with the portraits we produce.  A smooth transition from light to shadow in a photograph adds beauty, depth, and life to the portrait.  We want shadows to help us accentuate curves, help us be thinner, give a portrait mystery, or bring out the highlights that reveal joy.  We don’t want a harsh line on a portrait to draw attention to the fact that there was a harsh line… and the photographer should have just picked up  a reflector or used a light meter.  This type of thought process distracts from the story, and the viewer misses out on the joy of the photograph.

Dave Newman’s portrait classes not only helped me better understand the need for light, shadows and ratios between them in my photography, but made me better aware of my desire to tell the right story with each and every photograph.  Stories full of feelings of mystery, compassion, love, devotion, excitement, confusion, delight and many more are best told with the perfect mix of light, shadow, dimension and shape.

I’ve included some of my work from Dave Newman’s class.  Hope you enjoy!



Adopting a Webster

This is a very important post today, because it’s Amber Webster’s birthday!!  I had to get it up!! Tom and Amber Webster are adopting!!  Sooooo…. we went and took some beautiful adoption pictures last Friday.  Amber did a great job gathering ideas and fun props for there photos, and we took our props and gear to 2 separate locations for the photo shoot.  One was on old 25th St in Ogden, behind a few of the small shops where it opens to a sweet garden spot.  There we took couple shots, and family shots with Nalla there very well behaved doggy.  The other was also off 25th by an abandoned train track and industrial area.  This area was ideal for all our props because it was less busy, and we could take our time on the adoption photos.  It was so great to be with there family!  I am so excited to meet there new addition very soon!!