Friday, November 5, 2010

A Few Thoughts On Photography

Portrait photography is something we (my husband and I) have been dabbling in for a few years now.  The adventure began with a "professional" photo taken of my four month-old daughter, and we were so dissatisfied with the result that we went out and bought ourselves a decent SLR digital camera.  In our minds, we could not do any worse than some so called professionals, and we have been taking our family portraits ourselves ever since!

 The professionals we went to had the equipment, they had the studio and props, and they even had experience working with children; but unfortunately they seriously lacked the editing skills that make portraits extra special and natural looking.  I don't like the dark, murky feel of this photo.  My daughter's eyes are NOT black and her skin tone is NOT gray and ashy!

My husband's way with technology and my experience as a graphic designer have blended very well to producing some very nice shots that we are proud of:

Can you tell that I did a little head swapping in this photo?  At the request of the family, I moved the head of the little girl in the back over from another image so that all (except for the little baby) were looking at the camera.

This is a family portrait we took last week at the pumpkin patch.  It's cute, but not my favorite.  I think we look too stiff and posed.  I am learning, as we practice taking family shots, that the less expected poses are more dynamic and endearing.

I love, love, LOVE this photo of us!  It's like we are all thrown together in a pile.  Our expressions are natural because the pose is more fun than standing in a static formation.  Plus it looks great in color or black & white!  Hmm, I'm definitely thinking a Christmas Card contender here!

Kids can be difficult to work with.  Especially if they have had a camera in their face since birth like my kids have.  I like this photo because they are laughing and being silly, which portrays their personalities well.

And then there is my husband and I.  The top photo we like because it's simple and sweet.  The bottom one, well that is an outtake!  We sort of thought "maybe we should have a romantic one" but everytime we tried to kiss when the camera went off we would start laughing!  The truth is, we just aren't that comfortable with public displays of affection.  It's not us, and we're okay with that.  I do, however, think the kissy shot is funny and will add it to our photo album {grin}.

And lastly, here is a photo of my sister and brother-in-law.  I'm particularly proud of this image because it is one that I took entirely by myself.  My husband didn't adjust the camera settings for me, I was using a brand new macro/portrait lens, and I had the challenge of working with two drastically different skin tones.  The vines on the arbor created the perfect shade from the sun while allowing a warm light fill the background, and I adore that it isn't too posed and that I captured a true moment.

So, you may be asking yourself "why is Kelly going on and on about all this?"  Well, partly it is an opportunity to show off a few new photos of our family, but also because for years now I have been kicking around the idea of expanding my graphic design business to include photography.  I have already done quite a bit of product photography, but since the objects don't move or have expression, I don't get as much pleasure out of taking their pictures.  I enjoy faces, families, unique settings and the challenge of capturing great memories.  And since I am very often asked how I took a picture, what equipment I use, and if I am a photographer - I figure that perhaps my next career opportunities are calling for a step in that direction.

I still feel that there is a lot to learn.  I'm naturally a shy person and marketing myself does not come easily to me.  In fact, I feel quite comfortable being the girl hiding behind the camera and the computer.  So, I think to be successful I will need to be bolder, braver, and perhaps more business saavy.  

Oh, and I will probably need to become more familiar with all of those neat-o camera settings too {impish grin}.


Christian @ Modobject at Home said...

Oh Kelly, I'm excited for you! In my opinion you definitely have the photo eye and the skills needed to offer photography with your business. I find your work inspiring and challenging.

I'm with you on the whole marketing oneself dilemma.

Here's wishing you the very best. And I love the casual pumpkin patch photos.

heather said...

Very exciting! I have admired your photos for a long while. I think this is a natural step for you.

Elyse said...

Oh my gosh, Kelly I had a similar reason to get into photography. Namely several horrifying experiences attempting to get photos of my children and gambling on their willingness to participate or not. Mostly not, lol. I really need assistance in the editing department tho. What software do you use? We have an old version of photoshop but I'm so techno-challenged I am overwhelmed really. Anyhow, love your family photos and I think that sounds like a fun endeavor! Good luck!!

Kelly said...

Thank you ladies! I'm a bit nervous about it, but your encouragement helps greatly. Plus, since we are moving soon it is a great time to make some changes.

Elyse: It's good to hear from you! I have often admired your photos on FB. You must have good camera and you know a thing about composition! I use Photoshop CS3 for my editing, but find Picasa to be quite helpful and easy as well (plus it is free).