Tag: Reflector

Shakespear’s at the Gardens

It’s so fun to create images for my family.  My sister Kaydee’s family is gorgeous! I love being with them, my kids love playing with them, and they make beautiful images!  Last year I learned about the Ogden Botanical gardens.  There is a row of trees that is perfect for beautiful directional light, and most photographers photograph there because of the many types of beautiful flowers.  For Kaydee and Paul’s family we got to give them a little of both areas for variety in there images!  I hope you love them because I love them all!:)


Faerber Family Fun

For the past couple of years my son Charlie has played soccer with his friend Luke Faerber.  Last year they played for Wasatch, and this year they both started playing for Athletico.  Anybody that has a kid in a competition sports know that you spend A LOT of time going to practices and games!  During one of those games I met Luke’s lovely grandma Rayanna who asked me to Photograph Her, and her husband, with all of there kids and grandkids.  I love working with large families!  I love the dynamics of all their different personalities, the energy of the kids, and I love making heirloom portraiture they can always treasure! Thank you Rayanna for letting me be a part of making these beautiful memories!



The other day I went and spent the evening with Zach and Allison England.  We went to the Ogden Botanical Gardens and found many great places to take some awesome senior portraits!  Zach was a great sport! He was happy to pose how I asked, and he was also very happy when we were done!:)  I think we created some awesome images, and I’m so excited to spend some more time with Zach and Allison, and get to know the rest of the England family as we take their family portraits in June!

Congrats on graduating Zach!!  You are in for a great adventure!!


I love posting sneak peaks of my sessions, I admit it!  This session is no exception.  This family is just adorable and little Maverick is just the sweetest!  Very typical of little ones his age he was shy at first, but once he realized the strange lady with the really large camera was not going away, he quickly relaxed and we all had a lot of fun!  It was great to be with you Richardson family!!  Hope you love your portraits!

Paul, Kaydee, and the Kiddos

The other day I was able to spend some time with my younger sister Kaydee, and take some pictures of her little crew.   We played with a lot of squeaky toys and tossed the lion! We also did some singing, and had some candy… which I admit I have found very helpful with kids, and I am not above using for some smiles!  I love your beautiful family Kaydee!!  Thanks for letting me spend the evening with you!

And then he was three…

The last time I took my families pictures my baby was turning 2.  On Friday he turned three, and yes we did it again!  My boys are so handsome, and I love them so much, I can’t resist capturing them as they grow and become sweeter, and smarter, and more irresistable.  I love you my little men.  Thank you for letting me be your mommy!

The Bucks and the Bucklings

Last Saturday I was able to go and take portraits of my sister’s family for her birthday.  It was a lot of fun! We laughed, and jumped, played with masks, collected flowers, smiled a hundred times… and then smiled some more!:)   When I got back to edit the photos I saw that some shots were just magical.  I think they turned out just great!  Such cute smiles and such a beautiful familly!  Love you guys, I hope you love your pictures!

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!

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!

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!